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The Right of Translation is reserved. 



From London to Dover. — The Wilmot Diamonds. — An Arrest 7 

> The Channel Boat 22 

r From Calais to Paris. — A Passenger missing 36 

Mr. Bingham meets the Train 47 


« Inspector George Byde draws up a Report on the Wilmot 
(Park Lane) Inquiry; and subsequendy describes, among 
other Matters, an equilateral Triangle on a given finite 
straight Line 56 

Vine, alias Grainger, alias Sir John 73 

A Case of Murder 87 

The Paris Offices of the I.O.T.A.— Brother Neel 103 

The Morgue 121 

Inspector Byde and an old Friend. — The Inspector tries his 

own particular Method 139 




Brother Neel at the H6tel des Nations. — His strange Neigh- 
bours. — He leaves a Parcel with his Colleague of the 
I.O.T.A 158 

Detective Toppin omits to ascertain the Errand of Miss Murdoch. 
— M. Michel Hy (of the Prefecture).— His "Theory of Sur- 
mise;" and an unexpected Piece of Evidence . . . . 178 

The Inspector calls upon Miss Adela Knollys. — Were there ever 

any "Wilmot Diamonds?" 197 

The Vicomte de Bingham (otherwise "Innocent Ben") . . . 223 

A Clue found by the French Press. — Secret Societies. — The 

"Maelstrom" 244 


Brother Neel receives a Visit. — The Parcel. — A great Chance for 

the Inspector to atone for one Mistake 267 

No Case? 290 

Miss Knollys calls on the Inspector. — The strange Neighbours 

of Brother Neel 311 

The Wilmot Diamonds. — The Anarchist has "changed his 

Doctrine." — A Snare laid by the Inspector 333 

Mr. Sinclair's Situation. — Detective Toppin has succeeded, and 
has Ailed. — He sends off a Telegram for Mr. Byde, who 
leaves Paris by the Morning Mail 356 

The Man who follows the Inspector. — The Golconda Club. — 

An Interview with the Chief 375 

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The night mail for the Continent stood ready to 
glide out of the London terminus, the leave-taking friends 
Assembled in small groups upon the platform before the 
carriage doors were reiterating last messages and once 
more exchanging promises to "write," when a hard- 
featured, thick-set gentleman who had been peering out 
of a second-class window drew back with a slight ex- 
clamation of annoyance or disappointment, and sank into 
a corner «eat. Hardly a moment had passed, when the 
rattle of the guard's key was again heard in the lock, 
and the door fell open to admit a fifth passenger. "Just 
in time, sir!" muttered the guard, banging the door after 
the new arrival and relocking it. He immediately signalled 
with his lamp, a whistle rang out sharply, and the night 
mail for the Continent started from London. 

The new-comer installed himself unobtrusively in the 
nearest vacant place, and at once muffled himself up 
in a travelling-rug and a voluminous wrapper or two. 
Presently there was little to be seen of his face but a 
pair of gray eyes and a Roman nose. He sat with his 


back to the engine, in the corner opposite the thick-set, 
rubicund, hard-featured gentleman, and the latter had 
from the first followed his movements with a singular 
interest. In fact, the new-comer might have been justi- 
fied in remarking with some impatience upon the odd 
scrutiny of which he thus became the object. He seemed, 
however, to be quite oblivious of his fellow-passengers. 
It was nothing to him, apparently, that the gaze of those 
blood-shot blue eyes should be roving continually from 
the cloth cap which he wore, with lappets over the ears, 
to the bulky hand-bag he kept upon his knees, and the 
plain walking-stick he had deposited in the receptacle 
overhead. The walking-stick had knots or rings along 
its length, such as are suitable for concealing the juncture 
of the handle, and the sheath in ordinary sword-canes. 
Its owner kept his eyes lowered, for the most part, as 
though he wished to be as little observed as he was 
himself observant, and as though he feared to be drawn 
into conversation by even a chance interchange of glances. 
But, now and then, he might have been detected in a 
rapid survey of the entire compartment; indeed, at the 
end of one of these lightning-like excursions, his gray 
eyes encountered the blood-shot, inquiring orbs of the 
passenger opposite. It was already some time since the 
train had glided out of the London terminus, and dashed 
through the suburban stations on its way to Dover. 

"A curious case — that diamond robbery in Park 
Lane!" said the red-faced, thick-set gentleman aloud. 
He appeared to be addressing the remark to the com- 
pany in general, but he still watched the features of the 
latest arrival amongst them. That personage moved 
slightly as he heard the remark, but proffered no re- 
sponse. He merely closed the keen gray eyes, and 


buried his chin deeper in the warm travelling wrap. 
The rest of the company turned interrogatively towards 
the speaker. "A strange case," he repeated, studying 
the closed eyelids in front of him; "the man who planned 
that robbery and got away with all those diamonds must 
be a clever man at his business, and no mistake. He'll 
want some catching, that man will! But I think I know 
a man as clever as he is — and quite clever enough to 
do the catching for him." 

"Dear me, now!" returned a passenger in a sort of 
attire which, without being clerical, had a clerical look, 
"I have seen no mention of the occurrence in the news- 
papers. May I ask you, sir, to what affair you make 

"Well, I shouldn't be surprised if none of the papers 
had yet heard of it," answered the other; "but they'll 
hear of it to-morrow morning, I dare say. We're due at 
Dover at ten o'clock, and we don't stop on the way, bar 
accidents. But when we do run into Dover Station, I 
dare say we shall see what we shall see!" 

He drew a spirit-flask out of his pocket, and took a 
pull at it. His questioner had been about to put some 
further query, but checked himself at the sight of the 
flask. A suspicion that the man had had recourse to it 
before was easily discernible upon his countenance. In 
the far corner, a short, spare, youthful passenger, lost in 
the folds of a roomy ulster, turned towards the window 
and composed himself for sleep. 

"Yes, you may say what you like about the failures 
of the police," continued the person who had begun the 
conversation, "but / say that the London detective force 
are a body of remarkable men, and / know something 


of their ways and what they do, sir, I can tell you. 
Know something about them? I should think I did!" 

"Bless me, now, really?" said the clerical gentleman, 
evidently quite interested. "And what may be the nature 
of this robbery you refer to — this diamond robbery in 
Park Lane; an extensive affair, now?" 

"Twenty thousand pounds," replied the other, "that's 
all! Twenty thousand pounds' worth, at a fair figure." 
He screwed up the spirit flask, and fixed his gaze ob- 
stinately on the closed eyelids opposite. "Gone out of 
a safe in the strong-room, where they had been placed 
for one night only: and no traces!" 

"No traces whatever?" 

"Nothing. But, all the same, there are certain cir- 
cumstances which — well, if they do happen to be upon 
the right track, they'll owe a good deal of it to me. 
For I don't mind telling you that as a tradesman living 
in the neighbourhood of Park Lane and serving the 
house in question — Mr. Wilmot's house — Stanislas Wil- 
mot, diamond merchant in Hatton Garden — wealthy old 
boy — as a tradesman, I say, serving the private house in 
Park Lane regularly, I happen to have been situated 
better than most people for knowing what was going on 
inside it. However that may be, the man was a clever 
one that planned this robbery." 

"Well, well, well! But tell me how this Mr. Wilmot, 
with premises in Hatton Garden presumably suited to 
his business, came to transfer so large a quantity of 
valuables to his private residence?" 

"Because the quantity of valuables was large. The 
consignment had only been delivered at his office on the 
previous day, although he had been expecting it for a 
week or two. Well, he doesn't like to trust his clerks, 


and he doesn't like to trust the housekeeper in Hatton 
Garden, or the watchman, or the strong-rooms there, 
and so he prefers to take extra good stones, passing, 
through his firm, to the little private house he occupies 
in Park Lane. Oh, it isn't the first time he has run the 
risk, by a long way. He knows what he's about, though, 
as a rule. There's always a special constable on duty 
just about there, in the lane; and the strong-room in the 
private house is as good as you could wish to see. He's 
an old swell, a widower; and you can often see him rid- 
ing in the Row with a young lady he has adopted — Miss 
Adela, a poor relation of his wife's." 

"The thief, or thieves, then, broke into the private 
premises during the night?" 

"Who can say? The old boy brought these diamonds 
home without saying anything to anybody. In the pre- 
sence of his butler, he deposited them as usual in his 
strong-room. The next morning they found both the 
locks intact, but the diamonds were gone." 

"Is he sure he locked them up?" 

"Sure? Of course he's sure! And so is his butler." 

"Ah! A confidential servant, now, the butler?" 

"Yes, sir, a confidential servant." 

"Quite so, just so! a confidential servant." 

"Oh, I can answer for the bufler. I can answer for 
him as I can answer for myself." 

The clerical gentleman smiled sweetly, and inclined 
his head. If, with Master Dumbleton, he "liked not the 
security," he did not allow his mistrust to be manifest. 

The train rushed onwards to its destination, covering 
mile after mile at the same headlong speed. It was the 
third week of December, and the weather was detestable. 
Driven against the carriage windows by violent gusts of 


wind, the rain showered like hailstones upon the panes 
of glass. As the passengers flashed through the stations 
on their route, the lights, appearing to them for an in- 
stant only, were all blurred and indistinct. Three oc- 
cupants of the compartment we have travelled with were 
doubtless fast asleep. The clerical gentleman had not 
lapsed into slumber, that was clear. His lips occasionally 
moved as though he were engaged in the rehearsal or 
construction of a discourse. He opened his eyes dreamily 
from time to time, and at one of these moments his gaze 
met that of his communicative, red-faced neighbour. 

"Going to cross the Channel, sir?" asked the latter. 


"Calais or Ostend, sir?" 

"And a tolerably rough crossing it will be," pursued 
the other. "Are you going by the boat, yourself?" 

"I think I shall stay a night or two at Dover. My 
business takes me across the water every now and then, 
but a day sooner or later does not signify. West End 
tradesmen are largely supplied from the Continent, and 
I deal regularly with certain houses myself. Business 
has been bad, however. Those who do cross to-night 
will find it nasty in the Channel, I can tell you." He 
unscrewed his pocket-flask. "And there'll be some fun 
at Dover, if the man shows fight." 

"Bless me, now? The affair you were referring to?" 

"Why, yes. I don't mind telling you" — the speaker 
stared once more at the closed eyes and the Roman nose 
directly opposite him — "that they've got the man suspected, 
or, rather, that they will have him. On all the northern 
lines the police are on the look-out by this time. It was 
thought he would make a feint of taking refuge on the 
Continent, and that he would go north instead. But / 


believed he was bound for the Continent in reality, and 
unless I am very much mistaken he is in this train. 
The butler has been at Folkestone or Dover since this 
morning, and the local police were wired to watch the 
night mail. The butler will identify him, but there may 
be a confederate in the case. A detective who had seen 
him in suspicious company was to run down by the 
night-mail — this very train." 

He winked most expressively as he uttered these 
words, and nodded with great vigour in the direction of 
the Roman nose and veiled gray eyes. The clerical 
gentleman lifted his eyebrows and pursed up his mouth 
in the profoundest astonishment. As a kind of confirma- 
tion and rejoinder, the other smiled upon one side of 
his rubicund visage, and again nodded and winked. 

"Bless me!" ejaculated the clerical gentleman. "And 
the man whom you suspect, now — who is he?" 

"A young fellow of good family, named Sinclair, 
private secretary to old Stanislas Wilmot until three 
months ago, when he was suddenly dismissed. He knew 
all about the old boy's business dealings, and has been 
seen several times in the neighbourhood of the house 
during the past few weeks. He gave it out that a gentle- 
man abroad had engaged him as private secretary. We 
can see very well what that little manoeuvre meant. A 
great pity, for he was generally liked, and quite a superior 
young gentleman. Miss Adela and he — well, well — I 
say nothing." 

"But how could he have got into the strong-room?" 

"That's just what / said. The butler thinks he must 
have got in simply with the keys; and as Mr. Wilmot's 
keys were not out of his possession for a single moment, 
while the diamonds were there, he thinks the young 


fellow must have had duplicates. It seems that the keys 
were once mislaid for a few hours, before Mr. Sinclair 
went away. You can soon take a pattern for duplicates, 
can't you? Great pity, sir. The result of fast life, how- 
ever, from what the butler tells me." 

"Suppose the young man really had had these 
duplicates made, with dishonest intention; they might, 
likewise, have been stolen from himself, or ' borrowed ' in 
just the same fashion?" 

They stared at each other for several seconds, and 
then looked round the compartment as if for the opinions 
of their fellow-voyagers. There could be no doubt that 
they were all three fast asleep. 

Suddenly the carriage began to vibrate with a suc- 
cession of shocks. The train was slackening its pace. 
Two of the other passengers woke up immediately. 

"Something on the line," observed the clerical gentle- 
man — "or else we are going to pull up at a roadside 

"A roadside station!" growled his red- faced inter- 
locutor, "and what for? We are not far from Dover, and 
we shan't be punctual as it is." 

He let down the window. 

The train reached the first lamps of a small country 
station. It was moving at so slow a rate that at any 
instant it might have stopped. Voices outside could be 
heard, calling backwards and forwards. "Wire to Dover," 
shouted somebody, and a second or two afterwards the 
train took a fresh impetus. 

"I don't know what it is," muttered the red-faced 
gentleman, putting up the window again, "unless it refers 
to the Wilmot affair. Perhaps young Mr. Sinclair has 
been detected in the train under some disguise. The 


two guards were in communication." He mopped his 
cheeks with his handkerchief, and wiped the clinging 
rain-drops from his coat. "A pretty crossing!" he added 
— "a pretty crossing, to-night, for those who've got to 
make it. Going to Calais, sir?" 

He put the question abruptly, to the passenger whose 
big blue spectacles seemed still to be bent upon him. 

"Yes, I am going across," was the answer, in some- 
what affected tones; "as I suppose we all are?" 

"In this weather!" exclaimed in unmistakable Cock- 
ney accents the youth ensconced within the ulster. "Not 
me! Cross in a gale of wind like this, and with the rain 
a-coming down in bucketsful! Not if I know it, for one 
— not me, Mr. Wilkins!" 

He delivered these phrases in the manner of a soli- 
loquy, and it was to be conjectured that the Wilkins he 
apostrophised was but the creature of his fancy, a familiar 
who received habitual confidences. He shrank further 
into the festoons of his shapeless garment, and turned 
his face again towards the window-curtain. 

"We are surely travelling at a dangerous velocity,". 
resumed the clerical gentleman, clearing his throat with 
a cough which recalled the platform of public meetings, 
"The hazards of this life should be always present to 
sober-minded men. Now, my very excellent friend op- 
posite concurs with me, no doubt, upon many topics, 
sees matters with my eyes, and probably with greater 
clear-sightedness; and yet there is one topic upon which 
assuredly we look with different vision: my friend smiles, 
and I think he comprehends my meaning — yes, my dear 
friend, the question — the great and burning question — 
the vital, national, indeed, international question, I may 
say — of alcohol!" 


"To every man, what suits him, say I," responded 
the other, feeling once more for the spirit-flask. "What 
suits me, sir, on a wet night, when I can't take exercise, 
is the old prescription out of Scotland — a wineglassful 
when you feel to want it." 

"Ah, that widespread and too potent fallacy! If we 
could only vanquish and expel, for ever and aye, the 
error which that argument disseminates, what a vast 
stride towards the precious victory, what a splendid 
benefit conferred upon civilization ! The globe, sir, would 
re-echo with one long sigh of glad relief; for the extirpa- 
tion of that single error would bring us promptly within 
sight of the goal." 

"In the teetotal line, sir?" 

The red-faced gentleman, as though unwilling to 
wound the susceptibilities of his neighbour, relinquished 
his search for the medical prescription which suited him. 

"A pioneer in the great cause," assented the other. 
"Let me offer you my card; we may be companions for 
the rest of the journey, should you decide to cross to- 

He produced a mother-of-pearl card-case, and with a 
deprecating gesture handed over a rather exaggerated 
oblong slip of pasteboard. 

"Bro. A. Neel, 

I. O. T. A." 

So ran the card. 

"I. O. T. A.?" repeated the person to whom it was 

"International Organization of Total Abstainers," an- 
swered Brother Neel sonorously. 

"Just think of that!" murmured his questioner, with 


a vague expression of alarm. "Been going on long, sir, 
this international movement?" 

"Not a great length of time, but we have already ac- 
complished results of an exceedingly encouraging kind." 
He glanced at the card passed to him in exchange for 
his own. "All we need, Mr. Remington, is activity in 
proselytising, and intelligent assistance from the rich. As 
fast as our funds permit it, we shall open a new branch 
in some Continental centre. At present we have half a 
dozen branch establishments on the Continent, the most 
important of them being the branch at Paris. In fact, 
we make Paris our headquarters for the Continent. You 
are probably acquainted with our offices in that metro- 

"No," replied Mr. Remington, his bloodshot eyes still 
fixed upon the initials of the international society. 

"Well, we intend to achieve great things. As a first 
measure, we attack the railway officials on the principal 
lines, the international services. 'Attack' is my way of 
putting it, you know." — Brother Neel endeavoured to 
look jocular as he threw in this parenthetical remark — 
"And we have enlisted a fair proportion of them on this 
side, and at Brussels. We find that there are cases — 
especially the guards and engine-drivers — which tell ad- 
mirably in our half-yearly reports. Wherever we extend 
our operations we find the public most willing to support 
our movement, and our agents write that they are zeal-, 
ously aided by the English colonies in all the Continental 
centres. People travel so generally nowadays, you see, 
sir. And how much woe and ruin may be wrought by 
one — but one, inebriated engine-driver! And this was 
the reflection which occurred to me when I noticed the 
hazardous velocity with which we were travelling. Ah, 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 2 


my dear friend, I quarrel with no man's views; I do not 
demand that my brother shall live as I live, but neither 
can I live as my brother lives — hourly conniving at 
suicide, moral and physical. Oh, cast the tempter from 
you — hurl away that accursed bottle, hurl it far away! 
You will pardon me my earnestness, dear friend ?" 

"Oh, I know the prescription that suits me!" said 
Mr. Remington, with a gruff laugh, "and you'll excuse 
me, sir, but when you get into the Channel you might 
feel to want a wine-glass of it yourself. Hark at the wind." 

He lowered the window, and a keen gust at once 
swept through the compartment. The night was too dark 
for them to discern the few swaying trees along their 
route, but faint lights began to flit by, and presently the 
motion of the train became less rapid. "Dover!" an- 
nounced Mr. Remington, in an unsteady voice. He ought 
to have experienced small need of any further recourse 
to the spirit-flask, but he took a final pull at it. If the 
oblique regard despatched at him by Brother Neel meant 
anything, it meant "A wine-glass and a half, this time." 

The night mail drew up at the Dover ticket-station. 

"There they are!" exclaimed Mr. Remington, leaning 
out of the window. "And they've got him! There's a 
force of the local police waiting on the platform." 

"Bless me!" responded Brother Neel, "and so they've 
caught the thief? Bless me!" He gazed at the other three 
passengers with surprise at their indifference. "Twenty 
thousand pounds in precious stones, now! Could we not 
catch a glimpse of the prisoner?" 

"The door's locked," returned the other, somewhat 
excitedly, trying the handle. "They'll have to pass this 
way, however, to leave the platform, and then you'll see 
him. Yes, here they come. They are not losing time 


at any rate! Just as I thought: it's Mr. Sinclair they've 

arrested. Well, but what does that mean who's that?" 

He put his head in for a moment, and glanced at the 
passenger who had been the last to enter the compart- 
ment at the London terminus. "There's a man in plain 
clothes directing the constables," he added; "that must 
be the detective who was to come from London. They're 
making no noise about it, anyhow! You'll see them 
march by." 

A tramp of footsteps was heard on the drenched plat- 
form, and the helmets of the foremost constables could 
be seen from the interior of the compartment. 

"I'm sorry for you, Mr. Sinclair," called the passenger 
who had recounted the story of the missing valuables^ 
"You've been led away; and I'm sorry for you." 

"Oh, Remington — is that you?" answered a young 
man's voice, in firm and distinct tones. "Well, they have 
arrested the wrong man, I can tell you!" 

"The wrong man!" echoed the other, looking after 
the constables, as the tramp of footsteps died away. 
"Yes, they all say that." 

Mr. Remington had to make room for a ticket-in- 
spector, who now appeared at the carriage -door and 
threw it open. The gentleman with the Roman nose 
woke up at the same instant as placidly as he had slept. 
He produced a through ticket, like his four fellow- 
travellers. The official tore out the first leaf, "London 
— Dover," in each case, handed the little books back 
again, and vanished. 

"Going across to-night, sir?" inquired Brother Neel 
of Mr. Remington. 

"I hardly know, till we get down to the pier," re- 
plied that individual, looking towards the sky, although 



there was nothing to be seen. "Shall you cross to-night, 

"I have not quite made my mind up," answered 
Brother Neel, with a glance towards the carriage window, 
which, however, only reflected their own figures. 

A minute or two of cautious progress, and the train 
came to a standstill on Dover Pier. But no porters pre- 
sented themselves to unfasten the doors. 

"'Ere, let us out!" exclaimed the youthful gentleman 
inside the ulster. It was his place that lay nearest to 
the platform at Dover Pier, and he let the glass down 
with a run, and peered out for the information of his 
companions. "There's something else up," he remarked; 
"they're visiting all the carriages." 

A guard, whose cap and overcoat were dripping with 
rain, suddenly made his appearance at the open window, 
scanned the five passengers hastily, prepared to pass on, 
and then checked himself. 

"Is there a passenger here from Scotland Yard?" he 
asked, with some hesitation. 

No one replied. 

"A passenger here from Scotland Yard?" he repeated, 
holding up the envelope of a telegram, which large drops 
of water had smeared and blotted. No one replied. 
• "I beg pardon," said Mr. Remington hurriedly, to 
the person opposite, whose proceedings had inspired him 
with so deep an interest from the outset, "but are you 
not the gentleman in question?" 

"I?" returned the other, speaking for the first time. 
"From Scotland Yard? I? What an idea, to be sure! 
Certainly not." 

The guard lingered at the entrance, gazing from one 
to the other. 


"My name is Pritchard," continued the personage in- 
terrogated, "and I am travelling through to the south of 
France. Pray let us take our places on the boat." 

The official unlocked the door. As the five occupants 
of the compartment scrambled down the steps, they saw 
him visiting the next carriage to their own. 

"This way for the. Calais boat! — Ostend boat that 
way, sir! — This way for Calais — boat waiting!" 

Male and female voyagers, clad from head to foot in 
heavy cloaks and capes that protected them from the wet 
and cold, but impeded all their movements, struggled as 
best they could through the vehement wind and stream- 
ing rain. The lamps of the Pier Station lighted up their 
paths, as, hampered with packages, rugs, and shawls, 
they followed the directions of the railway servants posted 
about the platform for their guidance. Disconsolate com- 
ments in broken English met the ear, mingled with stac- 
cato sounds in objurgatory French. The passengers were 
not numerous. In the third week of December the traffic 
across the English Channel is usually excessive from the 
Continent to England, but slight from England to the 
Continent — the home, peculiarly, of Christmas festivities 
being Britain. "This way for the Calais boat! — take 
care, sir — take care, ma'am!" The stone steps down to 
the gangway of the vessel glistened in the scanty rays of 
two lanterns held by sailors. The gangway itself swung 
with the gentle rise and fall of the Channel boat; it was 
pretty certain that the weather would be "dirty" outside 
the harbour. A black shroud, however, seemed to cover 
the whole scene beyond and to hide it from the view. 
One by one, with infinite precautions, the voyagers groped 
their way on board the Astarte. The last of the stumbling 
figures in Indian file appeared to be Mr. Pritchard, with 


the through-ticket for the south of France. No; there 
was yet another: a gentleman who had at length arrived 
at a decision about making the passage that night — 
Mr. Remington. And one more form approached — this 
time, the last — at some little distance in his rear; that 
of a gentleman who, likewise, had eventually been able 
to make his mind up — Brother A. Neel, of the I. O. T. A. 


The Astarte had received her mail bags and the 
passengers' luggage, and lay alongside the pier, gently 
rocking as if impatient to put out. The through-guard of 
the train was in conversation with the captain of the boat. 

"It put me in a difficulty/' said he. "How was I to 
find out the man they wanted? The message to me 
asked for a reply at once, and so I wired back that there 
was no one from Scotland Yard among the passengers." 

"Why didn't they name their man?" inquired the 
captain. "It seems a strange proceeding — unless — well, 
we never know: it might be a repetition of that affair." 

"So I thought, for a moment. But it seemed more 
likely to be a mistake, or a piece of neglect. They must 
have meant the telegram for the plain-clothes man who 
came down from London, and who arrested this young 
fellow, Sinclair, at Dover town station. Or perhaps there 
were two plain-clothes men down by the train, travelling 
apart, and the telegram could be delivered to either of 
them. Well, I can't undertake to conduct their business 
for them. The message was addressed 'Passenger from 
Scotland Yard,' to my care, Dover — 'Guard of Con- 
tinental night mail, Dover station' — with a word to my- 


self. I have just wired back that a plain-clothes man 
had apprehended a Mr. Sinclair on a charge of diamond 
robbery in the West End, and that I had sent their 
telegram after him by a messenger into the town. That's 
all I could do." 

"Who identified this Mr. Sinclair?" 

"The butler of the house, who was waiting on the 
platform with the constables." 

"Do you know what I think about it?" demanded 
the captain, after a pause. "It looks to me as though 
they've sent down one of their big men after somebody, 
and above all wanted to keep his name quiet. Suppose • 
that something happened after the train left, which it 
was most important he should know. How were they to 
communicate with him? They did not wish to disclose 
his name, we will say, because it would have handi- 
capped him, especially if he were following clever people, 
or if he were 'made-up' in any way. Shouldn't be at all 
surprised if I've hit it." 

"No one came and asked if a telegram was waiting; 
and I had to go and inquire in the compartments where 
the passengers looked at all likely people. It's pretty 
well known now that somebody else from Scotland Yard 
was believed to have run down by the night mail." 

"They must have seen that at Scotland Yard in 
sending off the telegram; but of the two evils no doubt 
they chose the less. Very likely their man was one of 
the passengers you asked. Of course he would not ac- 
knowledge the telegram if he were watching his man; he 
would risk it." 

•."There are a good many 'ifs' about that, captain; 
but we do see such rum things, you and me, going back- 
wards and forwards, that I dare say you are not altogether 


far out. But, now you mention it, how do we know that 
the message came from the Scotland Yard authorities at 
all? Suppose a gang of criminals know that one of their 
number is being followed by one of the best men from Scot- 
land Yard; what is to hinder them from wiring to the 
detective, in the name of his superiors, to stop him at 
Dover, and so enable their own man to get away with 
whatever he has got about him? The one envelope was 
inside the other; and I only know the words of the mes- 
sage to myself as through-guard." 

"It might be as you suggest; only, in that case, your 
reply would not have been arranged for?" 

"Not as a blind?" 

"By Jove,". said the captain, after shouting an order 
to the engine-room, "I should like to know what the 
business really is. For all we can tell they may be 
tracking American dynamiters! So long as they don't 
blow my boat up, I don't care." 

"How's the sea outside?" 


Everything on board was now tight and water-proof. 
The captain nodded to the guard, uttered another direc- 
tion, and ascended to a more elevated post. The joints 
of the shining machinery slid round, and the Astarte 
gave two or three preliminary throbs. 

"Off at last," muttered to a companion one of the 
few passengers who had remained on deck, "we're twenty 
minutes behind time." 

He was enveloped in a mackintosh which fell almost 
to his feet. The collar, turned up, rose over his ears, 
and the cloth-cap he wore, furnished with lappets and a 
broad peak, completely hid the upper portion of his 
features. His companion was a much shorter gentleman, 



and underneath the broad brim, pulled downwards, of a 
soft felt-hat, it was impossible to distinguish his head. 
Perched on the summit of a roomy upright ulster, the 
soft felt-hat looked as though it crowned a tailor's effigy, 
of the kind which, with tickets suspended from their 
necks, grin at us from the plate-glass establishments of 
the cheap clothier. A casual observer would not have 
supposed these two persons to be acquaintances. In 
spite, however, of their attitude towards each other — the 
attitude of strangers — they presently exchanged observa- 
tions in extremely low tones. 

"Are you sure he's on board?" asked the taller of the 
two anxiously. "I was too much occupied with my man 
to be able to look after him. Are you quite sure?" 

"Certain," murmured the other. "I watched him go 
downstairs into the cabin, and take a berth." 

"Well, you had better go down, too, Bat, and keep 
an eye on him. Change some money with the steward 
at the same time. We shall want some French money 
on the way." 

"Go down! — not me! The 'tec' may have slipped 
you, and gone down himself. I don't want him to know 
me by sight as well as I know him — what do you think ! 
Suppose I just went into the lion's den at once, without 

making any more fuss about it? Not me! — It's 

awful, up here — but you don't catch Bartholomew walk- 
ing into the arms of Morpheus — no, sir! It would be 
like stepping into the Old Bailey dock right off. Not 
me, Mr. Wilkins!" 

"I tell you I've not lost sight of the detective. He 
is in one of the private cabins — the last on this side. 
Fll watch him till we get to Calais. You had better go 
down, and see what our man is doing — whether he is 


drinking. Some one else may be after it. We ought to 
get half an hour at Calais. Come to my table in the 
station-restaurant. — Why, what are you afraid of? There's 
nothing against you." 

"No, but there soon may be." The speaker reeled 
against the bulwarks, as the Astarte, rounding the harbour 
entrance, encountered the first of her foaming assailants, 
and lurched with the shock. He grasped a rope to save 
himself from falling. "Come, you had better go down- 
stairs, Bat," repeated his companion, who, though ap- 
parently the better sailor, held on perforce to the same 
rope for a moment. 

The Astarte made straight for the white ridge of a 
black mass opposed to her. There "was a loud crash, 
and over the deck flew an invisible shower of salt, ice- 
cold spray. The Astarte left the dim, white ridge behind 
her, and the black mass rolled sullenly away; and then 
she sank, dreadfully down — down — into a yawning fur- 
row, where for an instant she stood quite still, as if to) 
collect her energies for another such antagonist. 

"Perhaps you're right, Sir John," said Mr. Bar- 
tholomew faintly; "I could do with a drop of brandy 
from the steward." 

The two figures parted, the sack-like ulster steering 
an erratic but precipitate course in the direction of the 
cabin staircase. 

Sir John continued hardily at his post. The break- 
ing surf and howling wind appeared to disturb him less 
than the occasional approach of a surprised seaman. As 
the Astarte drove upon her way, the marine birds riding 
exultantly on the waves would fly .up in front of her and 
dart across the deck, or swoop along the vessel from 


stem to stem, cleaving the gale with their muscular, 
forked wings. 

On the lugubrious, indeed pathetic, scene below, it 
would be both undesirable and invidious to enlarge. 
When the limp felt-hat and draggling ulster had climbed 
to the foot of the brass-edged stairs, and forced an en- 
trance into the cabin, there was no mirth at the piteous 
mien of the youth upon whose insufficient frame those 
articles hung. The steward and his assistant were too 
busy to attend to him at once. The necessary fluid, 
however, procured and gulped down, and consciousness 
having been partially recovered, Mr. Bartholomew ad- 
dressed himself to a review of the company around him. 
A callous, jesting personage, presumably a commercial 
traveller, sat at the table in the centre, with some cold 
boiled beef before him, and a bottle of stout, and with 
a London evening newspaper propped up against a loaf 
of bread. The Astarte plunged and recoiled, shivered 
land righted herself, and at times it might have seemed 
Ao the dispirited voyagers that the Phoenician goddess of 
the moon would brusquely dive with them into the very 
bowels of the earth. 

Mr. Bartholomew, scrutinising one after another the 
recumbent forms, allowed his eye to rest for a moment 
on the inflamed visage of Mr. Remington. That gentle- 
man was ensconced in an easy-chair, at the raised ex- 
tremity of the cabin. He, too, had been examining the 
company from his point of observation, and his gaze met 
the cautious glance directed towards him by the new 
arrival. Both countenances immediately assumed a bland 
expression of unconcern, and each proceeded with the 
apparently interrupted survey of his neighbours. 

"Anything in the paper, sir, about the diamond rob- 


hery in the West End they were talking about at Dover?" 
asked the steward, as he rested from his labours. "There 
was quite a to-do down at the station. A ticket in- 
spector told me that the police took the thief directly the 
mail touched the town platform." 

"Not a word about it," replied the commercial tra- 
veller, carving the cold boiled beef; "the whole thing 
must have been kept precious quiet. Sometimes that is 
the best way; and if they have really put their hands on 
the right man the Scotland Yard people have done the 
trick, this time, about as neatly as you could wish to see." 

"Smart work," said the other. "I heard there was 
twenty thousand pounds' worth of valuables. Do you 
suppose he had the diamonds about him, sir?" 

"I suppose so. I suppose that was one of the reasons 
why he was making for the Continent. However, they'll 
find that out when they search him at the lock-up. It 
seems he had no luggage in the van — nothing but a 
portmanteau which he kept with him in the carriage. 
They ought to have concluded the search by this time.* 
He looked at his watch. "I wonder whether they were 
family jewels — necklaces, bracelets, and so forth — or 
whether they were loose stones! That makes a deuce of 
a difference, you know; people always exaggerate the 
value of their own family jewels; but there's this about 
brilliants set in precious metal of some design or other 
— you can trace them if you don't let too much time slip by." 

"So you can, sir; whereas loose stones " 

"Whereas, how can you identify loose stones? You 
may have one or two of exceptional size, and those you 
may be able to swear to, though I shouldn't like to risk 
it myself, even then, not being a diamond-cutter or 
polisher, or an expert. But take a few loose brilliants 


of the average size; how are you to identify them if they 
have passed out of your possession for a day or two? 
Here are two rings that I've worn, one for ten, the other 
for fifteen years. This one looks very well, doesn't it? 
It's set with 'roses/ and I've had it for fifteen or sixteen 
years; well, it's not worth very much. This other — see 
how beautifully the diamond is cut, and it's a deep stone 
— I've been wearing constantly for certainly ten years. 
I could identify that ring, as it stands, amongst a thou- 
sand, and it's worth some money. But take the stone 
out of the setting, tell me it has been put with others of 
the same size, and bring it back to me — I wouldn't like 
to swear to its identity. Very likely I couldn't pick it 
out from half a dozen other loose stones, cut in the same 
shape, or thereabouts." 

"I've often noticed that ring, sir, when you've been 
crossing by the boat. Don't you think it might be a 
temptation to dishonest parties?" 

"Oh, nothing has ever happened to me. And I 
shouldn't advise anybody to try it on; I don't travel un- 
armed." The commercial traveller was a man of power- 
ful build, and he laughed boisterously. "Talking about 
diamonds reminds me," he went on, "of a friend of mine, 
a brother 'commercial,' who used to travel in the diamond 
trade between Amsterdam and the United States. There 
was a tremendous duty on diamonds going into the States, 
and my friend, who was an Englishman, used to be al- 
ways trying to get some through the Custom House free 
of duty. So long as his firm would let him bribe, he 
was pretty successful, but the bribes began to mount up 
to almost as much as the duty, and they found out there 
was no satisfying those fellows out there. The firm 
stopped the bribes, and after that they regularly per- 


secuted him, out there, whenever he landed. Well, he 
rather liked this for a time, but human nature could not 
stand the life they led him, and in the end he gave up 
the business. What I am coming to is the last thing 
he did. He had brought a valuable consignment from 
Amsterdam. The Custom House people felt convinced 
he was declaring much too small a quantity, and so he 
was. They ransacked his luggage, tested the sides of 
his trunks, made him open secret compartments, and 
tried the lining of his clothes, but all in vain. At last, 
with one of their apologies, they required him to partly 
undress, to see whether he was not carrying a diamond- 
belt. He expostulated, and wanted to resist, but they 
begged him to take into consideration his past successes. 
He yielded, and they could find nothing. But he had a 
strengthening plaster across his shoulders, and one of the 
officials noticed the corner of it beneath his vest. 'Hold 
on,' says he, 'I guess we've not done yet.' They tested 
the surface, and sure enough between the plaster and his 
shoulders were the little protuberances they had suspected. 
They got the plaster off with hot water, put it away with 
the stones underneath, and took his address for summon- 
ing him at the police court on the charge of defrauding 
the revenue. The summons never came on, however. 
On examining the stones they had seized, the officials 
discovered that they were all imitation." 

"And where had he put the real ones, then?" 
"The genuine stones were closely packed in a large 
old-fashioned silver watch — or, rather, what looked like 
it — which he carried carelessly with a common watch- 
guard. But, of course, he did not keep them long in his 

"Well, well, well!" exclaimed the steward, admiringly. 


Again the glances of Mr. Remington and our young 
friend Bartholomew met, and were instantly averted. A 
vague sort of mutual cognisance appeared thenceforward 
to exist between them — a cognisance betrayed by, as 
much as anything, a distinct effort on either side to ab- 
stain from observation of the other. Interminable seemed 
the rumbling of the vessel, together with the thundering 
of the surge against her sides. Amidst the most dolent 
of manifestations, the steward adjusted a pair of spectacles, 
and took up the evening paper for his own perusal. 

A mariner in a suit of tarpaulins came down the 
staircase, and imbibed something at the counter. 

"Are we far off?" 

"Just there, sir." 

"Thank goodness!" 

" Dieu merci!" 

"What a beastly crossing!" 

"Ah, monsieur, quelle traversal" 

Ten or twelve minutes afterwards the crashing gradu- 
ally died away. The Astarte neared the shore — the coast 
of France. Overhead, a great clattering became audible; 
and within the cabin, several of the experienced passengers 
prepared to gather up their hand-packages. 

"Long coming over?" inquired one of his neighbour. 

"Two hours and a quarter," was the reply, "but what 
can you expect in weather like this? It will be worse 

Clambering up the gangway to the top of the pier, 
the voyagers had no sooner passed the ticket-inspectors 
— simultaneously clutching their hand-packages, clasping 
their hats, and producing their tickets — than they found 
themselves besieged by the bands of loafers, who,, even 
between midnight and i a.m., obstruct the distressed 


Channel navigator, accost him with cries of "Portaire," 
and endeavour to wrest from him his phantom hand-bag 
or attenuated portmanteau. Master Bartholomew entered 
the spacious refreshment-room in the centre of a group. 
They were the latest arrivals, and, after a second's hesi- 
tation, he carelessly shaped his path towards an almost 
unnoticeable table at which a single person had just in- 
stalled himself. Master Bartholomew dropped into the 
vacant place opposite. 

"How do you feel?" asked the other, without looking 
at him. It was the Mr.' Pritchard who was bound for 
the south of France. He neither lifted his eyes from 
the wine-list, nor moved his lips as he spoke. 

"Feel?" responded Bartholomew feebly. "This is a 
nice business old Clements has sent me after. Why 
couldn't he come after it himself! You could have done 
it between you, and Fm sure / needn't come so far as 
this, and go through so much, to find a good piece of 
work. If he hadn't paid all my expenses, and guaranteed 

me something handsome when it's all over, I'm if I 

should have stirred a step! I've been over to Chantilly 
races and the Grand Prix of Paris, to pick up some of 
the winners, but I never came over before at this time 
of the year. 'Ere, waiter! — gassong! — give me a small 
bottle of brandy — what do they call it? — connyac! I'll 
show them how to speak French! Let's hope we do get 
something for our trouble, Sir John." 

"Keep your voice down — and don't appear to be 
saying much to me. Is your man here?" 

"Here? Yes, I should think he was here — and drink- 
ing enough for you and me and him together! Makes 
me thirsty to look at him — unless he's only pretending 
to drink. He's just over there — don't you see? — but 


there's something I don't like about it Looks to me as 
though he's 'tumbled.' See him? — there! — he had his 
eye on both of us. Where's your man?" 

"Don't know," replied the other rapidly, attacking the 
comestible deposited before him. "Watched the private 
cabin as long as I could without attracting attention, but 
he never came out of it that I could see. Wonder 
whether he knows anything! Oh, he's a clever gentle- 
man, that one is — equal to all the rest of them at Scot- 
land Yard put together! He's a clever gentleman." 

"He's A i at the game, and no mistake," answered 
Bartholomew impartially. 

"So much the worse for us." 

"Oh, I don't know! He may be as clever as you, 
Sir John — perhaps cleverer — and he may be cleverer 
than me, but he ain't more clever than you and me 
combined, with Grandpa' thrown in. If we bring it off, 
and Grandpa' meets us at the station, as old Clements 
arranged, it'll be all right." 

"It'll have to be all right. They had better not give 
us any trouble, because they are not in England here." 

"No; and we ain't in England either. Don't you be 
in a hurry over it now. If we miss it to-day we'll get 
it to-morrow. And, mind, no putting anybody out in 
this! I told old Clements I wouldn't be in any putting- 
out business, and that wouldn't suit his book either. 
Where's that connyac?" 

There seemed less than ever of Mr. Bartholomew in 
the roomy ulster and the soft felt hat. No regard for 
his personal appearance, however, troubled him. With 
zest at least equal to that of his companion, he fell-to 
upon the regulation Calais restaurant dish of succulent 
roast fowl. They were both thus engaged silently when 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 3 


the through guard of the train approached Mr. Pritchard, 
or "Sir John," and touched him on the shoulder. Mr. 
Pritchard did not start, and did not look up; but he 
suddenly left off eating, and turned rather pale. The 
guard then bent down to him and whispered con- 

"Beg pardon, sir," he said, "but if you are the pas- 
senger from Scotland Yard, as that gentleman fancied, 
here's another telegram from London. I wired to them 
from Dover, and this is a reply to my message — a further 
telegram, sent on to Calais, .'Care of through guard, 
night mail/ The message to me here says they don't 
mean the plain-clothes man who stopped at Dover, and 
I am to try and deliver this at once. No one else has 
seen the telegram, sir, because, from what that gentle- 
man said, I thought perhaps it might be you." 

Below the level of the table, out of the general view, 
he held the blue envelope ' of the French telegraph office. 

Mr. Pritchard cast a rapid glance around him; and 
young Mr. Bartholomew considerately rose from his seat 
to procure himself a roll of bread from the adjacent buffet* 

"Well, yes," replied Mr. Pritchard in ah undertone, 
"I am from Scotland Yard, and the telegram must be 
something urgent for me. I'm on a difficult affair — keep 
it quiet who I am — they'll make it right with you at 
head-quarters for the trouble you have been put to. 
When do you make the return journey?" 

"By the next night-mail from Paris," answered the 
guard, unconsciously imitating the quick, subdued ut- 
terance of his interlocutor. 

"Present yourself at head-quarters as soon after your 
return as you like. But keep away from me, or you'll 
spoil my game," 


"Beg pardon — the same case? — Park Lane?" 

"Et caetera." 

As the guard discreetly sidled away, Mr. Bartholomew 
rejoined his companion, and they continued their repast 
for a minute in silence. 

"Can't you open that envelope, Jack?" at length 

demanded Mr. Bartholomew impatiently. 

"When I get a chance, I can," said the other. "Now, 
then — follow your man! — there he goes. Til settle the 

Mr. Remington, who had very deliberately quitted a 
table at some distance from them, now lounged in the 
direction of the doors with a somewhat unnecessary show 
of nonchalance. He had scarcely crossed the threshold 
when Mr. Bartholomew, whose expression of face had 
become quite wondering and artless — the natural timidity 
of unprotected, diffident youth, bewildered by unfamiliar 
surroundings in a foreign land — slipped the half-empty 
bottle of "connyac" into a recess of the drooping ulster, 
and sauntered likewise towards the restaurant entrance. 

.."En voiture pour Paris ! En voiture, les voyageurs!" 
intoned one of the French railway servants. The sum- 
mons created the usual bustle among the passengers. 
Profiting by the opportunity, Mr. Pritchard deftly tore 
open the envelope and surreptitiously perused its con- 

"This is second message to you en rpute/' ran the 
despatch. "Have wired Toppin, our man in Paris, to 
meet your train, and act under your directions. Look 
out well on the road. Ernest Vine, alias Grainger, alias 
Jack Smith (Golden Square case, two years ago), and 
Bartholomew Finch, alias Walker, West End pickpocket, 
left by night mail with tickets for Cannes. Reason to 



believe they are on business. Find them out if possible 
and don't lose them. One of Soho gang is watching 
your house. Yourself supposed to be in London; we 
have thought it best to wire you in this way, trusting to 
guard's discretion. You are nominally told off for London 

"En voiture pour Paris!" The passengers hurried 
towards the platform. 


The train for Paris was drawn up on the far line of 
rails, and Mr. Remington, surveying the carriages, halted 
on the edge of the platform, to avail himself of the 
shelter, overhead, from the pouring rain. As he stood 
thus, apparently engrossed with the selection of a suitable 
compartment, two or three fellow-travellers passed him, 
opened their umbrellas, and stepped out briskly across 
the metals, and through the pools of water, in search of 
the corners in which they had deposited their hand- 
packages. Mr. Remington scanned each figure that 
moved by him, and did not seem to have secured his 
own place in advance. En voitu-ure! He threw a search- 
ing look on all sides, and strode from the edge of the 
platform on to the iron way. He had not noticed an 
individual who was studying in a very bad light a pictorial 
map of France. 

Mr. Remington exhibited no little fastidiousness in 
the choice of a compartment. Did he wish to travel 
alone, or was it the difficulty of lighting upon a well- 
filled compartment, that embarrassed him? On a long 
night journey it might be desirable to make one of a 
numerous company. That, however, was just the con- 


dition which it appeared impossible to realize. The pas- 
sengers were not numerous, and there was no lack of 
empty compartments. But in the first endeavour which 
he made to secure a single place in a row of occupied 
seats, he apparently discovered some personage whom 
he was seeking to avoid; whilst in a second essay he 
saw that the allotted number was already complete. 
From identical reasons, doubtless, others among the pas- 
sengers had preferred to travel in a numerous company. 
A couple of porters pushed by him wheeling a truck. 
They had done their portion of the labours involved by 
the arrival of the night-mail, and were diverting them- 
selves, as they trudged along, at the expense of certain 
voyagers whose sorry plight had attracted their notice. 
Mr. Remington's indecision proved sufficiently manifest 
to excite the remark of these facile satirists. They com- 
mented on it in the usual vein of the French working 
man, one of whose characteristics is a total incapacity to 
attend exclusively to his own occupation. 

"Is he slow, hein, that clumsy Englishman!" "The 
rest of them will be in Paris by the time he has made 
his mind up." "Paris can get on without him, allez! 
Let him stay here, and pay us a glass each; we're good 
enough society for him, I should think — a pair of honest 
Republicans, and thirsty!" "What! Isn't this moisture 
sufficient for you — a night like this?" "Ah, ouate! The 
more water there is, the more liquor you want to make 
it palatable. Pay me half a pint, and I'll be godfather 
to your next." "Farceur, va!" 

Mounting hastily the steps of a carriage in response 
to a further summons from the railway officials, Mr. Re- 
mington found himself face to face with Brother A. Neel, 
of the I.O.T.A. 


"Aha ! " exclaimed the latter cordially, " fellow-travellers, 
after all, sir! I did not see you on the boat, and thought 
you might have decided to stay the night at Dover." 

"Well, I made up my mind to come on at once," 
replied the other, to all appearance satisfied with his 
companion. "I shall get back the sooner. We are more 
than five hours from Paris, and I can sleep better travel- 
ling at night than in the daytime." 

"In that, you are like myself," said the first, pleasantly. 

Another passenger ascended the steps, and took a 
place with them. It was Bartholomew Finch, alias 
Walker. Behind him came a French official, who de- 
manded their tickets: "Paris — Paris — Paris — bien!" 
The official swung on one side, slammed the door, and 
passed along the step to the neighbouring compartments. 

"They don't lock the doors, I observe!" said Brother 

"No; they just let down a latch outside, below the 
handle. That secures the door, without imprisoning the 

"All that's necessary — and more convenient," remarked 
Brother Neel. 

The engine emitted a despondent squeal, and coughed 
asthmatically. Its bronchial tubes had obviously suffered 
from exposure to severe weather. Once on the high 
road to Boulogne, however, there was no fault to be 
found with its notion of express speed. 

"Been this way many times before, sir?" inquired 
Mr. Remington. 

"On business of the 'Iota' I usually make the journey 
by this line," replied Brother Neel effusively. "'Iota?' — 
ah, yes, I forgot you were not one of us; that is our 
familiar appellation, our pet name, I may say, for the 


Order in which we are enrolled — International Organiza- 
tion of Total Abstainers; don't you see? — an easy ab- 
breviation, which forms at the same time a sort of affec^ 
tionate sobriquet, don't you know! one of those endearing 
nicknames which are so often met with among the members 
of harmonious families. And what is our great, our noble 
Order, but a family upon the widest, the most humanitarian 
scale! The administrative affairs of the 'Iota* do oc- 
casionally require my attendance at the Paris branch. 
But that is not the motive of my present visit. No; 
there are certain special aspects of the drink traffic, in 
the French metropolis, which are capable of emphatically 
illustrating and enforcing the truths of our great cause, 
and which for our purposes have never yet been ad- 
equately studied. I have a mission to collect material 
on those aspects of the drink traffic, for our lectures 
and pamphlets and public demonstrations. Ah, this is 
a weighty, a colossal question, sir, it is indeed! Think 
of the correlation between alcoholism and crime! I wish 
— I wish I could induce you to enrol yourself in our 
valiant army." 

"Very sorry, sir; but it wouldn't suit my constitution! 
Let those do it whom it suits, / don't complain , and I 
don't want to interfere with them." 

"Dear me — dear me! — what a sad and dangerous, 
what a terrible and infinitely perilous frame of mind ! I 
would wager, now, that the unfortunate young man whose 
apprehension we witnessed at Dover was addicted, now, 
to the use of alcohol. I would wager it! When shall 
we rend our fetters, and free ourselves from this gigantic 
incubus, which is oppressing the heart's blood of civiliza- 
tion, over-shadowing its mighty pulses, and trailing in 
the dust and mire the snow-white name of Christianity?" 


The tumultuous imagery of Brother NeePs rhetorical 
enthusiasm appeared to extinguish what powers of re- 
joinder lay at the disposal of Mr. Remington. Their only 
companion in the compartment began to nod, as though 
he had dropped off into a doze. Mr. Remington eyed 
him sharply, and presently allowed his own lids to fall. 
Brother Neel stared vaguely at the notices in three 
languages which apprised the isolated and imperilled 
traveller of the means provided to him for ensuring his 
personal safety, and which likewise threatened him with 
penalties for making use of them. The temperance 
lecturer moved his lips now and then, raised his eye- 
brows, frowned, and slightly tossed his head, as though 
he were again rehearsing perorations. Thus they ran on 
till they reached Boulogne, the first of the four stoppages 
on their road to Paris. They might have counted upon 
remaining undisturbed throughout the journey; but Mr, 
Remington, who had got up to consult his time-table by 
the light of a station lamp, was obliged to give way to 
allow ingress to a new-comer. It was Ernest Vine, alias 
Grainger, alias, again, Mr. Pritchard. 

The night-mail sped out of Boulogne-sur-Mer and 
turned inland, leaving for good the sand-hills of the 
coast. Its next destination was Abbeville; but in spite 
of the considerable distance to be traversed, Mr. Re- 
mington's faculty for sleeping in night journeys by the 
train seemed to have deserted him. His thoughts were 
evidently as much absorbed as ever by the personality 
of Mr. Pritchard. His eyes resumed their restless examina- 
tion of the hawk-like countenance which, this time at 
any rate, faced, not himself, but another of the travellers 
— the undersized tenant of the ample ulster. The new- 
comer had sunk unobtrusively into his place, just as he 



did at the outset of the journey. The cane which he 
deposited in the rack, above his head, had decidedly 
the aspect of a sword-stick; the small black bag upon 
his knees might have held conveniently a pair of hand- 
cuffs and a revolver; it seemed almost a pity that he 
was Mr. Pritchard, bound for the south of France, and 
not, as the observer had too readily suspected, the pas- 
senger from Scotland Yard. Mr. Remington drew forth 
his pocket-flask, and took a plentiful draught. 

"Abbeville!" shouted a porter, as they ran into a 
dismal station, hardly anything of which was visible in 
the darkness of the night. "Abbeville, Abbeville!" echoed 
faintly down the platform. The train came to a stand- 
still; Mr. Remington folded his rug over one arm; and 
in another moment the door was hanging open, and there 
were only three passengers in the compartment. The 
celerity with which he had accomplished this exit was 
remarkable in a gentleman of his size. With an almost 
equal celerity, however, Brother Neel stepped out after 
him. The temperance lecturer had, indeed, hesitated an 
instant, but a glance at the two travelling companions 
who were left to him apparently sufficed to lead him to 
a prompt decision. 

When Brother Neel alighted on the Abbeville plat- 
form the French guard was already signalling the train 
onwards. He made for the only other carriage-door 
which hung open, and found himself again alone with 
Mr. Remington. The night -mail dashed away in the 
direction of Amiens. 

"I did not like the look of those men," said Mr. 
Remington, somewhat embarrassed. 

"Nor did I myself, I am bound to confess," replied 
Brother Neel; "and I thought I would follow your 


example. One may be doing them an injustice; but — 
well, there! I did not like their look." 

"Not that / ever make these long journeys with large 
sums of money about me. I buy in rather extensive 
quantities, but I always pay my dealers in Paris by draft 
on an English banking-house which has a Paris branch. 
I never travel with much more than the small change 
absolutely necessary. In fact, I lost over the last trans- 
action in the Paris market, and trade has been so bad that 
I had thought it hardly worth while coming over to buy." 

"Dear me! And do they consider this line to the 
North at all insecure? I mean — the cases of outrage, 
and so forth, on the French railway systems — the cases 
we have read of in the public press: are they associated, 
now, with this line at all?" » 

"The Northern line? Oh, no. I should say that the 
southern and eastern railways of France are more danger- 
ous, but there was a mysterious case some time ago on 
a western line; it was never cleared up." 

"A case of ?" 


"Bless me — now, really! Well, well. It would not 
in the least surprise me if that Mr. Pritchard, as he calls 
himself, were a detective-officer after all, though I don't 
know why he should deny it. But those men love to 
make a little mystery; it attracts attention to them, flatters 
their vanity, and makes them appear important even when 
they have achieved nothing." 

"You seem to know them, sir," said Mr. Remington, 
with a smile. 

"Oh, very slightly, very slightly, I assure you. . But 
one of our dear friends — not a colleague in the I.O.T.A., 
but a brother lecturer in the temperance cause, a worthy,* 


dear friend, he was, and an able — almost fell a victim 
some few years ago to the malice and obstinacy of one 
of these men, and none of us, I am sure, are ever likely 
to forget the event. For my part, I must say that I re- 
gard the companionship of detective-officers as little less 
compromising than that of criminals. Who knows where 
detectives have sprung from? They do say that ex- 
thieves make the very best thief-takers. Imagine honest 
people at the mercy of an ex-criminal! The painful case 
of my worthy dear friend inspired me with an aversion 
for the entire class, although there are members of the 
detective force enrolled in our organizations." 

"Well, if that man isn't from Scotland Yard I'm 
greatly mistaken. He has quite the cut of it; and they 
go wrong so often — as in the case you speak of — that I 
am glad to be out of his company." 

The conversation drifted into general topics. While 
thus engaged they were both startled momentarily by the 
sudden appearance of a head at the window. 

"Oh, the ticket-inspector, of course!" exclaimed Mr. 
Remington, laughing jovially. 

"What — once more?" said Brother Neel 

"The last time on the journey," explained the other. 

The inspection of the tickets was performed as usual 
by the French guard of the train, who passed from com- 
partment to compartment, opening the doors easily and 
closing them again quietly, as the mail rushed at its 
fastest rate towards Paris. Brother Neel remarked upon 
the possible danger of this operation, on a night, as he 
said with striking originality, "dark as Erebus;" but Mr. 
Remington assured him that the process was the simplest 
thing in the world, and that there were details in the 
construction of the carriages which expressly facilitated it. 


"What other stoppages lay before us?" asked the 
temperance lecturer. 

"Two more, between this and Paris," replied his 
companion, "Amiens and Creil. At Amiens we get from 
five to fifteen minutes, according to the time of the train, 
and we're late to-night, or rather this morning. At Creil 
we only touch." 

Mr. Remington forthwith disposed himself comfort- 
ably for a nap. Brusquely opening his eyes after a si- 
lence of ten or twelve minutes, he found his travelling 
companion so intently observing him that he became all 
at once wide awake again. Was it curiosity, calculation 
— or what — that he read for an instant, an instant only, 
in the square face opposite him? Brother Neel met his 
anxious and surprised scrutiny with the air of bland at- 
tention which appeared to be his professional manner. 
Mr. Remington changed his position, and did not again 
close his eyes. 

They ran into the spacious Amiens station. "Just 
time to cross to the buffet," muttered Mr. Remington, 
after listening to the announcement of the porters. He 
descended from the carriage, but did not cross to the 
buffet. He loitered on the platform for a moment, and 
then proceeded to a different carriage altogether. The 
fresh. compartment he chose, however, appeared to have 
been selected by other people, also desirous of seeking 
other places. Mr. Pritchard, flanked by Bartholomew 
Finch, alias Walker, clambered up the step, and de- 
liberately took the two corner seats at the entrance. 
Calling to a railway official that he had mistaken his 
compartment, Mr. Remington had just time to descend 
again, and grasp the handle of a neighbouring door. 



The official grumbled at him in his native tongue, and 
helped him up as the train began to move. 

"It's no go till we get there," pronounced one of the 
two persons he had so promptly deserted, Mr. Finch, 
videlicet — "he has 'tumbled' to something — that's sure!" 

"He can 'tumble' to what he likes, now," responded 
the other. "I'm going to get it before I leave this train." 

"'Ere — mind what I said," urged Mr. Finch; "no 
putting him out!" 

"No putting him out? Well, how do you think we 
are going to get it?" savagely retorted Vine, alias 
Grainger, speaking nevertheless in a very low tone. "Do 
you suppose he's going to put his hand into his pocket 
and pull out a velvet case with £ 20,000 worth in it, 
and pass it over?" 

"Well, you can wait a few hours, or a day or so, 
can't you? Anyhow, I won't be in this if there's to be 
any putting-out." 

"Perhaps you'd like to wait until the property has 
gone out of his possession, and they have all three of 
them shared the money? Perhaps you'd like to pick his 
pocket nice and comfortably, and get his purse with a 
ten-pound note in it, instead of the small fortune Cle- 
ments promised? There are three of them in this, and 
it's as clear as day. The secretary hangs about the 
house in Park Lane shortly before the night of the 
robbery. The robbery takes place, and the secretary 
goes away in a suspicious manner. The other two then 
put the police on him; the butler pretends to have 
reasons for believing that Sinclair means to go by Dover 
to the Continent; they send him down in the morning, 
and he waits for the arrival of the train with the plain- 
clothes man who has followed Sinclair in the hope of 


dropping across confederates. At Dover, he identifies 
the secretary, and the police make the arrest. Of course 
the secretary has been searched by this time, and they've 
not found anything; and, of course, as to the robbery in 
Park Lane, he'll have a perfect alibi. By the time Sinclair 
had been released, in default of evidence, the property 
was to have been got rid of; and this is the man who 
was to have got rid of it. I thought at first that this 
man and the butler were doing it between them, but I 
see all three are in it. Wait a few hours! And what 
about Byde — what chance should we have when we get 
to Paris? There's a man I will put-out some day, if he 
causes me much trouble — Mr. Inspector Byde! He hasn't 
recognised either you or me, but it was a lucky thing I 
got that telegram. It isn't the first time I've been taken 
for a detective, but it's the first time I said I wasn't one. 
We shall have to look sharp about getting out of the 
Paris station. If Byers isn't there to meet us we must 
get away without him." 

"Grandpa's certain to be there, if he said he would. 
What is the other place we stop at?" 

"Creil," answered the pseudo Mr. Pritchard, referring 
to a small train bill; "and after Creil there is a clear 
run of fifty minutes to Paris. We must do it between 
Creil and Paris." 

The night-mail had not altogether made up its arrear 
when it emerged from the darkness enveloping the en- 
trance to the northern terminus at Paris, and placidly 
stole into the feebly-lighted station. Beyond the barrier, 
where the railway servants posted themselves for collect- 
ing the tickets, there was the customary assemblage, even 
-at that early hour, of persons awaiting the arrival of 
their friends. The few passengers descended gladly 


enough, and straggled along the platform towards the 
ticket-gates. The supposititious Mr. Pritchard passed 
through among the first. Not far behind him came Mr. 
Finch in one of the folds of his flapping ulster; and then 
followed a knot of dazed voyagers, confused with the 
abrupt change, but making blindly for the nearest exit. 
After these marched Brother Neel, erect and deliberate, 
not to say portentous, but pale from the fatigues of 
travelling. The railway officials lingered at their posts 
for a few seconds, and then, one after the other, closed 
the gates of the slight barrier. All the voyagers had 
evidently passed through. Mr. Remington, however, had 
not been one of the voyagers who had passed through. 


Among the persons assembled at the Nord terminus, 
to meet the passengers by the overnight London mail, 
there was a rather tall , fairly good-looking young man, 
of decidedly British aspect, who, instead of joining the 
group just outside the barrier, had preferred to remain 
within, the spacious but barn -like waiting-room, from 
whose glass partition he could easily survey the arrivals, 
without being distinctly seen himself. From the point 
at which he was placed, the end ticket-collector stood 
almost within arm's reach, although, of course, they were 
separated by the partition. The lamps which aided the 
collectors in their work, facilitated the scrutiny directed 
by this sturdily-built young man upon the faces of the 
voyagers, as the latter approached, delivered their tickets, 
and filed past. So absorbed was he by his occupation, 
that he did not perceive a trifling incident of which the 


waiting-room was the scene, and in which he himself ap- 
peared to play an unconscious part. Had he been free 
to observe that incident, he might, no doubt, have 
deemed it worthy of attention, slight though it seemed. 
An elderly gentleman who had come up in great haste, 
as if in fear of arriving too late for the passengers by 
the train, was hurrying across the waiting-room, when 
he caught sight of the solitary watchman at the glass 
partition. The elderly gentleman immediately pulled up 
short, and retraced his steps with redoubled speed. 
Turning to the left, he trotted into the station courtyard, 
where the cabs and luggage-omnibuses were beginning, to 
bestir themselves, and, veering again to the left, he got 
to the outer doors as the first of the departing travellers 
passed through the hands of the revenue officials. The 
latter proceeded to put their usual questions to the pos- 
sessors of hand-packages. Vine alias Grainger was re- 
quested to exhibit the interior of the small black bag. 
Whatever might have been its contents, they were clearly 
not contraband goods, and the owner of the bag at once 
turned to the right and moved towards the station gates. 
Mr. Finch followed closely upon his heels, wearing an 
air which seemed to say he knew he was in a foreign 
land, and unprotected, but that he rather knew his way 
about, for all that. 

The elderly gentleman stayed for a few moments 
facing the threshold, scanned one or two of the figures 
pushing out, and then in a disappointed manner returned 
in the direction of the courtyard gates. A porter called 
to him that the majority of the passengers had not yet 
issued forth, but the other was apparently hard of hear- 
ing. "Old imbecile!" added the porter, looking after 
him. At the station gates the elderly gentleman over- 


took our two acquaintances, and passed them hastily. 
He traversed the wide street, made for the corner of the 
Rue Lafayette, dived into this thoroughfare, and presently 
arrested his course in front of a cab which stood drawn 
up by the pavement. The cabman had descended from 
his box, and was stamping his feet and striking his gloved 
hands together. The elderly gentleman opened the door 
of the vehicle, and told the man to drive to the Central 
Markets. As he held the door open, Vine, alias Grainger, 
or Pritchard, came up with Mr. Finch. 

"After you, grandpa," said Mr. Finch politely. 

"Now then, Bat, jump in," growled Vine, alias, 
Grainger. "We don't know who's behind us." 

"Fm behind you, for one," returned Mr. Finch, with 
cheerful humour. "In you get, grandpa — age before 
honesty! Fm going to try a glass of this hot stuff." 

A vendor of steaming black coffee had installed him- 
self some yards away. 

"Jump up, will you?" repeated the other fiercely. 

"Look here, Bat," said their elderly companion rapidly, 
"we don't want any of this — game!" 

"All right — all right," responded Mr. Finch imper- 
turbably; "but if Mr. clever Sir John here ain't brought it 
off, as he says he ain't, I want to know what we've got 
to be in a hurry about." 

"Not brought it off! Do you mean to say you've not 
brought it off, John?" inquired grandpa anxiously. 

The object of his query had already seated himself 
in the cab, and for all answer urged the other two, with 
an oath, to mount beside him. 

"Not me!" responded Mr. Finch, with calmness. "A 
nice thing this is! Here's a man Fm sent to do a bit of 
business with, and, when we get the chance to do it, he 

Passenger from Scotland Varcf, 4 


says he thinks he can manage it better by himself. I let 
him go and do it, because so long as it's got, whether he 
does it or I do it, I have my terms from old Clements, 
don't I! Well, I bar putting-out, and he agrees; and then 
he gets out of the compartment to go and do it, and I 
never see him again until we both get out at Parry, just 
this instant. And then, when I ask him about it, he 
says he ain't brought it off. A nice thing this is! I 
thought I was working with a clever man. If he ain't 
brought it off, what are we to run away for? Where's the 
man we've come after — why ain't we following him? 
What could you want better than this!" 

He glanced upwards at the sky. The rain had ceased, 
but it was still quite dark. Grandpa put his head in- 
side the cab. 

"Have you missed it, yes or no?" he demanded curtly. 

"Yes," was the reply, emphasised with an imprecation. 

"Then where is he?" 

"Where is he!" The speaker made a gesture which 
was lost in the gloom. "Stop here as long as you like," 
he added savagely, "but don't blame me if you get taken." 

"Why, John, you alarm me! Get in, Bat; we'll have 
an explanation as we go along. There's evidently some- 
thing very wrong with this affair." 

The vehicle started on its journey towards the Central 

"Yes, we've got nothing, and appearances are all 
against us," resumed Vine, alias Grainger; "but I know 
where to look for it, if we can get clear now, and find 
the man out afterwards." He sprang up from the seat 
and looked through the small pane of glass at the back 
of the carriage. "I thought so!" he exclaimed excitedly; 
. "there's a cab following us." 


"Why, who can be in it?" said grandpa. 

"Byde of Scotland Yard came down from London to 
Dover. He hid himself on the Channel boat, and we 
haven't seen him since. I'll lay a thousand he has come 
through, and if he's in that cab he'll never leave us." 

"Won't he!" said grandpa, rendered extremely serious 
by the name his companion had pronounced. "He won't 
leave? Oh, oh! we shall have to be severe with Inspector 
Byde. But, before I take steps of any kind, I must know 
exactly how this matter stands; because, if you're not 
dealing fair and square with me, you don't go any farther 
in my cab. Inspector Byde may be after you, and the 
whole of the French police as well, for all I care ; I don't 
move a step for a man who doesn't deal fair and square. 
When I undertook this business with Clements, I stipulated 
that there was to be nothing previously against either of 
the men who were coming over, I am not going to be 
compromised for a single moment, remember that plainly. 
If you were not wanted for anything up to eight o'clock 
last night, when you left London by the mail, why should 
you be running away from Inspector Byde, or anyone 
else, this morning? How can it matter to either of you 
who is in that cab — come?" Mr. Finch kicked viciously 
at the foot-warmer lying in the well of the conveyance. 
Sir John made no answer. "Surely," pursued the elderly 
gentleman, in a softer tone, "surely you are not thinking to 
bamboozle grandpa? Is that it? Is that a sort of little 
game that you would try on, Bartholomew Finch, alias 
Walker, late of the Old Bailey, and formerly of Clerken- 
well Court-House?" 

"Me?" replied the youth thus interrogated; "not me! 
Bamboozle you, grandpa? Not me! — no! — not me, Mr. 

■ 4* 


"Well — is it a sort of little game that you would try 
on, Mr. Ernest Vine, of Clements and Company? Do you 
think I should stand that, John — do you think any man 
of my years and experience could put up with it? I give 
you half-a-minute to turn it over in your mind." 

Sir John sat up straight with a jerk, and pulled off 
the fur-tipped glove of his right hand. 

"Get us home," he exclaimed sullenly, "and I will 
tell you the whole story. Does that look like bamboozling 

He opened his right hand wide. The fingers and 
palm were smeared with blood. 

"We must throw this cab off at once, if it's really 
following us," said grandpa promptly. He stood up and 
glanced through the small pane of glass. "Yes, — we are 
being followed. However, we'll soon set that little matter 
right." He twisted the button which sounded the bell- 
signal to the driver. "Stop at the first wine-shop or cafe* 
you find open," he called, in ready but Britannic French. 

A little farther on the cabman pulled up in front of 
a small wine-shop, which apparently had not long before 
been thrown open. Grandpa stepped out of the vehicle 
and bade his companions follow him. 

"What's this?" demanded Sir John suspiciously. 

"The shortest way. All you have to do is to follow 
me, and look sharp about it. I dare say I can get you 
out of this for the present, but whatever happens / mustn't 
be seen." Grandpa muffled himself up so closely that 
his short white whiskers and fresh pink cheeks almost 
entirely disappeared. Darting across the pavement into 
the wine-shop, he gave an order at the counter, and took 
his seat in a nook removed from general observation. 
He then directed Mr. Bartholomew to watch the move- 


ments of the other vehicle. "It can only be a case of 
precaution, whatever it is," he added, "or we should 
have been stopped immediately." 

An unwashed waiter in his shirt-sleeves brought the 
blotting-pad and writing materials of the establishment. 
While grandpa proceeded to address an envelope, the 
waiter returned sleepily for their glasses of hot black 
coffee. He was blinking and yawning, and stumbled 
against Mr. Bartholomew Finch as the latter sauntered 
from the threshold towards his companions. 

"The cab has pulled up a short distance away, and 
no one has got out of it," he reported. 

"There's no doubt about it, then," said grandpa. 

He was manifestly taking great pains to disguise the 
handwriting of the address, but there his trouble ended. 
The sheet of paper which he folded and enclosed within 
the envelope was blank. The postage-stamp requisite he 
obtained on paying at the counter. Remounting the 
cab, grandpa gave the order to continue towards the 
Central Markets. 

"They're after us," announced Mr. Finch, who had 
applied his eye to the small glass pane. 

The approaches to the Halles were impeded with the 
carts and waggons which, laden with all kinds of pro- 
visions, wend their way every morning to these vast 
Central Markets. Grandpa shouted a precise direction 
to their coachman, and they soon found themselves in- 
volved in long lines of vehicles converging towards a 
particular point Reaching a large corner tavern, thronged 
with market-gardeners, butchers, poulterers, and other 
people whose avocations brought them regularly to the 
Halles, the cabman slackened his pace, but a further 


order was shouted to him to turn the corner and to 
come to a standstill at the other entrance. 

"It's almost unnecessary," murmured the spry, elderly 
gentleman, as he peeped once more through the square 
of glass; "they seem to have lost us as it is." Obeying 
his instructions, nevertheless, the driver turned the corner, 
and drew up at one of the tavern entrances on the other 
side. Grandpa promptly hopped out of the carriage, and 
closed the door the moment he had been followed by 
his companions. "Go back to the Gare du Nord," said 
he, handing the coachman the envelope he had stamped 
and addressed — "go back as fast as you can, and post 
this in the station letter-box; it will be in time for the 
foreign mail if you post it there at once." 

The gratuity with which he accompanied the pay- 
ment of the fares must have been considerable, for the 
coachman whipped his horse generously, and at once set 
off with an edifying show of zeal. The incident had 
been managed with despatch, and grandpa drew the 
others after him into the midst of the groups encumber- 
ing the pathway. The market-people, imbibing their 
petit noir, or their morning nip of rum, were noisily dis- 
cussing prices, or joking, and fencing at bargains. As 
the cab just quitted made its way through the labyrinth 
of country carts and barrows, the other vehicle appeared 
at the corner, hemmed in for an instant by a couple of 
heavy waggons. Both windows of the cab were down, 
and the three watchers could distinctly see the whole of 
the interior. The vehicle had but a single occupant. 
He was gazing anxiously about him, and presently leaned 
out of the far side to indicate the departing cab to his 
own coachman. 


Vine, alias Grainger, and Mr. Finch, stared at each 
other with astonishment. 

"What has he got to do with us?" demanded Bartho- 
lomew; "I never saw him before!" 

"It isn't Byde, that's one thing," returned Mr. Vine; 
"and so long as he isn't Byde, I don't care who he is. 
Do you know him, grandpa?" 

"I have that distinguished pleasure," replied their 
elderly friend, shooting his shirt-cuff; "yes, my boys, I do 
know the gentleman, although up to the present time of 
day the gentleman does not know me. That is Toppin 
— Mr. Toppin — Detective Toppin: a praiseworthy, active, 
and conscientious officer kept in Paris by Scotland Yard. 
Toppin is full of ardour, and will no doubt improve. 
But he is not yet what we understand by a * flyer;' no — 
Toppin isn't a flyer! He'll follow that cab — oh, he won't 
lose sight of that cab! — he'll follow that cab, I dare say, 
till the cabman takes it home to-night. He'll go right 
back to the Northern terminus, Toppin will — right back 
to where he came from!" 

"How do you know he came from the Northern 

"Because I saw him there, my little dears! He was 
there to meet your train, and if, as you say, Byde was a 
traveller by the night-mail, he was most likely there to 
meet his eminent and respected but not necessarily in- 
fallible colleague, Inspector Byde. And you may take 
your oath, boys, that Byde has sent him after you — per- 
haps on the off-chance, perhaps not. We can make our 
minds up when we hear your little story, John." 

"That's all very well, Byers," said Vine, alias Grainger, 
with another look of suspicion, "but what did you put 
in that letter?" 



"A sheet of notepaper with nothing on it," responded 
grandpa — "and on the envelope I put a fancy address, 
in a disguised handwriting. Suppose the man goes back 
to the station and drops it in the letter-box — no harm 
is done. Suppose he simply drops it in the first letter- 
box he comes to — no harm is done. Suppose he forgets 
to post it altogether, as he may do — for I didn't ask him 
for his ticket — and intoxicates himself on the tip I gave 
him — no harm is done: and Mr. Toppin will have to do 
the best he can. Well, now, we needn't drink anything 
here; in fact, we couldn't get attended to, if we wanted 
anything. I will take you to your hotel — a snug little 
place, out of the way. — There's blood on that handker- 
chief of yours, Jack — keep it out of sight!" 


While Mr. Byers — to adopt the name under which 
grandpa had been interrogated by Vine, alias Grainger — 
was inscribing an apocryphal address upon the envelope 
containing a blank sheet of paper, a gentleman who had 
just taken up his quarters at the Terminus Hotel, nearly 
opposite the Gare du Nord, proceeded to indite an epistle 
which threatened, on the contrary, to extend to rather 
formidable dimensions. He was one of the travellers by 
the night-mail from London, and he had a letter to send 
off by the return post, he informed the obsequious waiter 
of the hotel cafe; for this reason he would be glad of 
writing materials at once, and w<?uld defer partaking of 
the refreshments so glibly enumerated until his important 
missive had been sent on its way. Oh, but monsieur 
had plenty of time ! Monsieur cpuld post at the station 
letter-box just across the road up to a few minutes be- 


fore the departure of the mail. With that fact he was 
perfectly well acquainted, replied the monsieur: that fact 
alone had impelled him to put up at the establishment, 
seeing that when he had breakfasted there once before 
they had served him a beefsteak which was a calumny 
upon the Continent Ah! monsieur was English? — 
American? "Bring me the largest sheet of paper in the 
establishment." A very large sheet of paper — certainly, 
monsieur. Oh, he knew England well, the waiter did, 
having passed a year in Battersea to learn the tongue — 
Battersea — monsieur knew that quarter, perhaps? A very 
nice quarter. Oh, yes, very nice, very handsome! A 
large sheet of paper, was it not? Immediately, monsieur! 
White paper or blue? — because if monsieur wanted blue 
they had none. Ah, it did not matter? — blue, green, or 
yellow — precisely: monsieur being in a hurry. There 
was nearly an hour and a half yet before the departure 
of the morning mail — plenty of time ! Where he was in 
Battersea they served great number of beefsteaks — steak- 
and-potate — and great quantity chocolate, and ices. The 
air of Battersea was not too active, and suited him; but 
having learnt the tongue he came back to a situation to 
speak English towards English and American visitors, 
though monsieur himself spoke French very nice — oh, 
yes, indeed, very nicefully! 

The caligraphy of this early arrival at the Terminus 
Hotel was of a character that might have secured for 
him the second or even the first prize for penmanship 
in the most genteel of suburban collegiate schools for 
young gentlemen. How beautifully regular the lines! — 
how fine the up-strokes! — and the down-strokes, how 
symmetrically swelling and how firm! And the fingers 
that guided the pen through such elegant small-hand and 


such even text were those of a middle-aged man who 
did not in the least look like a schoolmaster, or like any 
other sort of person accustomed to set copies for his 
livelihood. The phrases, too, which he had uttered in 
the language of the country had almost merited the en- 
comium they had received. They were undoubtedly 
of a quality to earn the French prize at the suburban 
collegiate school. The gentleman in question wrote his 
letter and spoke his French a little laboriously, perhaps, 
but then he did not make a single blot upon the paper, 
and in what he said there was not one grammatical mis- 

He began by placing the superscription on the enve- 
lope; and it ran as follows, after the name of the reci- 
pient with a sub-line beneath it: "Criminal Investigation 
Department, Great Scotland Yard, London, S.W." 

The exact terms of the epistle itself were the follow- 
ing: "Wilmot (Park Lane) Affair. — This case has taken 
an unexpected turn. In accordance with my instructions 
yesterday afternoon I endeavoured without delay to as- 
certain the movements of Samuel Remington. He made 
no attempt to avoid observation, and talked freely with 
neighbours on the subject of the robbery. He expressed 
great sympathy for the friends of Sinclair, and deplored 
for their sake the impossibility of keeping the affair out 
of the papers. 

"Remington has been in the habit for some time 
past of visiting Paris for the purposes of his business 
two or three times a year. He was regretting yesterday 
that his periodical journey to the Continent should compel 
him to absent himself for a few days at this juncture, 
and owing to the slackness of trade would apparently 
have relinquished the journey had it not been for a sub- 


fctantial order telegraphed to him by a country client. 
With the assistance of Sergeant Bell I found that an 
order had, as a matter-of-fact, been telegraphed to him. 
The telegram, however, came from Dover, a coincidence 
which the Department will appreciate. Sergeant Bell 
undertakes to obtain the name given by the sender, and 
this part of the inquiry I have left in his charge. Re- 
mington made appointments in London for the end of 
the week. I found that his present visit to Paris was a 
month in advance of his usual visit at this time of the 

"He left his residence at 7.15 p.m., and I followed 
him to Charing Cross. He had no luggage but a valise. 
He took a return ticket to Paris, and I looked after him 
and got a seat in the same compartment. It was evident 
that he did not suspect me of watching him; at the same 
time he seemed to be uneasy, and, from what I could 
divine, had expected to see someone at the station who 
did not put in an appearance. 

"Three other persons presently entered the compart- 
ment at short intervals. The first I fancy I must have 
seen somewhere; he had the look of a flash thief, but I 
had no reason for suspecting him. The second I did 
not know at all; but the third, who arrived just before 
the departure of the train, I feel certain I have met at 
some time or other. It was annoying to be unable to 
fix his identity, though I felt that if my impression with 
regard to this man were right, it could not be recently 
that I had come across him. 

"Remington compromised himself repeatedly on the 
way down. From the first he seemed to be convinced 
that he was being watched by the man I have just re- 
ferred to — the last of the other three passengers. In his 


anxiety to test the correctness of his suspicion, he 
broached the subject of the robbery himself, and during 
the conversation which ensued upon it hardly removed 
his eyes from the man's face. Sinclair was promptly 
taken into custody at Dover, and Remington professed to 
condole with him as he went by on the platform. At 
Dover Pier Station the guard of the train came to our 
compartment as well as to others, with a telegram ad- 
dressed to the * Passenger from Scotland Yard/ care of 
himself, at Dover Pier. As Remington plainly had no 
notion whatever of my own identity, I thought it better 
not to claim the telegram — to risk its loss rather than 
open his eyes, especially as it was competent for me to 
wire for its contents directly I got free. I therefore 
allowed the message to go by. I trust that the course I 
took may occasion no inconvenience, but I was strength- 
ened in the resolve I arrived at by certain symptoms on 
the part of two among the other travellers. It will be 
remembered that the case placed in my hands was one 
of the vaguest suspicion only. If Sinclair was the thief, 
and Remington was really his confederate, the former 
had probably hidden the diamonds among common goods 
and thus forwarded them by parcels delivery to an ad- 
dress in Paris, where Remington would call for them. 
Such, as I understood it, was the theory. With Sinclair 
denounced by Remington, the latter would not readily 
be suspected of complicity with him. No evidence would 
be forthcoming against Sinclair, and in the meantime 
Remington would get the property off his harfds* I hope 
the Department may agree that I was right to preserve 
my incognito. 

"Following Remington on board the channel boat, I 
fancied I saw grounds for believing that he was, in fact, 


being watched by the man above referred to, whom I 
likewise detected in secret communication with the (pre- 
sumably) flash pickpocket who had travelled in the same 
carriage. I was uncertain how far I might be known to 
one of these individuals, if not to both, and for that 
reason decided to keep out of sight if possible during 
the rest of the journey. On the assumption that the 
theory we have acted upon was well founded, it appeared 
to me that these two individuals — about whose character 
the more I saw of them the less I entertained a doubt — 
had by some means or other got wind of the object of 
Remington's journey. It appeared to me that if I should 
trace Remington to any Paris address where a package 
was awaiting him, I should most probably discover that 
he had been likewise traced thither by those two men. 
But while I was concealing my own whereabouts from 
them I inevitably lost sight of their movements a good 
deal. At Amiens, looking along the train, I saw Reming- 
ton descend from his compartment, but only for a mo- 
ment, the stoppage being of less than the ordinary du- 

"On our arrival at the Northern terminus, Paris, I 
watched each passenger through the gates, the two men 
I speak of with the rest. To my surprise, Remington 
did not pass out. Toppin, however, at once came up 
with both the telegrams despatched to him by the De- 
partment! the second containing the substance of the 
message to myself which had miscarried. It was then 
that I recollected the man who ostensibly proved the 
alibi in the Golden Square case, two years ago — Vine, 
alias Grainger. I had just time to point him out to 
Toppin; and in view of the reiterated directions by tele- 
gram, Toppin hastened after Vine and his companion, to 


make sure of their whereabouts in case of need. I now 
await his return. 

"While the last few travellers who had brought heavy 
luggage with them were going out of the gates, after the 
examination of their trunks by the Custom House officers, 
a porter ran to the entrance of the platform with the 
news that a dead body had been found in one of the 
carriages. From Boulogne the passengers had not been 
numerous, and a considerable proportion of the compart- 
ments were unoccupied. On our arrival at Paris, there- 
fore, several of the doors remained closed until the 
porters went through the train, and it was while this 
operation was being performed that the corpse was dis- 

"Conjecturing from Remington's non-appearance that 
the body might be his, I made myself known to the Eng- 
lish through-guard. He was astonished when I showed 
him my card, for, influenced by a remark made, tenta- 
tively, perhaps, by Remington at Dover Pier, he had 
taken the man Vine for an officer of the Department, 
and, upon finding a second telegram at Calais, had pri- 
vately addressed himself to that individual. Vine pro- 
fited by the error to obtain possession of the message, 
enjoining the guard to say and do nothing that might 
hamper him in his imaginary mission. Of the contents 
of that second message I am necessarily ignorant, but 
presume it warned me of the departure of two suspicious 
characters by the night-mail, in the same terms as the 
telegram care of Toppin. Consequently, Vine and Finch 
have known, since the stoppage at Calais, that the De- 
partment is aware of their leaving by the mail, and that 
a special detective-officer has been told off to act with 
Toppin, of Paris. They may or may not guess at a con- 


nection between my errand and the Wilmot Case; and, 
on the other hand, one can only guess at present that 
between their own errand and the Wilmot case there 
may have been some connection. The theory implicating 
Remington was one of the vaguest, when submitted to 
ourselves; how can it have passed into the cognizance of 
men like Vine and Finch? Upon this point an idea oc- 
curs to me which, when matured, I will communicate to 
the Department. It is unfortunate that the inadvertence 
I describe should have happened. Under the circum- 
stances, however, it was perhaps natural enough. It was 
vital that my presence should not be known to the party 
or parties; the Department wished urgently to communi- 
cate with me, but preferred to avoid mentioning my 
name; Vine was mistrusted by Remington, and was in- 
dicated to the guard as possibly the passenger he was 
looking for; and the guard subsequently inquired in pri- 
vate of Vine himself whether such was not the case. 
That Vine should have answered falsely in the affirma- 
tive implies, to my mind, that he and his companion had 
come on business. 

"It seems that the searching of the early morning 
trains, on the descent of the passengers, is often per- 
formed in a careless manner, and has sometimes been 
postponed for fully an hour. In the present instance the 
searching had begun some ten or twelve minutes after 
the delivery of the tickets. The news of the discovery 
was carried to the police commissary attached to the 
terminus; it was only by the aid of the through-guard 
that I was enabled to get a view of the body before the 
arrival of that functionary. As I expected, the dead man 
was Samuel Remington. 

"The deceased was in a recumbent position, with his 


head supported by a shawl rolled up to form a pillow. 
He was lying on his right side along the seat nearest to 
the engine, with his feet only an inch or two from the 
door. In the left temple there was a bullet wound from 
a firearm of small calibre, and I should say that he was 
perhaps asleep until the moment before the injury was 
inflicted. The features were not distorted, but wore an 
expression of surprise; his right arm was doubled-up 
under him, and his left arm had been thrown back, and 
lay extended behind him. The flow of blood had not 
been copious, but there were blood-stains about his 
clothes and elsewhere. His travelling cloak and under- 
coat were unbuttoned, one of the cloth buttons of the 
latter garment lying on the seat, at the back, as though 
the coat had been wrenched violently open. He wore a 
sealskin vest, of which only the top buttons were un- 
fastened; but a left-hand breast-pocket in the lining of 
the vest had apparently been turned inside out, and was 
torn at one of the edges. I had not many moments 
allowed me for seizing these details. My examination 
was quite irregular, and I was stopped as I attempted to 
carry it further. But I was able to note that rings were 
on the fingers of the right hand, which was ungloved, 
that the watch and chain had not been taken, and that 
there was money — to what amount I could not ascertain 
— in the pockets. With regard to the breast-pocket, it 
was noticeable that the torn edge was at the left or 
upper corner, not at the right or lower corner. By a 
better light it would have been possible to pronounce at 
once whether the threads had been recently severed or 
not; but, apart from this, it would seem as though the 
material must have been torn, from above, clearly not by 
the deceased himself, who, in depositing articles in this 


pocket or withdrawing them, would use his right hand, 
and of the two corners would usually catch the right or 
lower one. I need hardly add that there were no evi- 
dences of any struggle. 

"Summing up the situation, the case would appear 
to be one of murder, with the purpose of gaining pos- 
session of some object believed to be in the custody of 
the deceased. What was the nature of that object? It 
might be the Wilmot diamonds; but if they were actually 
in his possession, the original theory brought to us is 
upset. To test that theory, Sinclair's movements should 
be minutely investigated from the night of the robbery 
to the occasion of his arrest. If, as we understand, and 
as appears probable, Remington can have had no per- 
sonal communication with Sinclair, did the latter leave a 
package for Remington at some place agreed upon, or 
did he send him any parcel through the ordinary public 
channels? Remington may have considered a bold course 
the safest one. Travellers do not as a rule suppose that 
their neighbours may have «£ 2 0,000 worth of valuables 
in an inner waistcoat-pocket; and if he had decided to 
bring the property over himself, his murderer must be 
found before we get again upon the trace of the Wilmot 
diamonds. At the same time, the original theory may 
be the correct one, after all. He may not have had the 
valuables about him; and the murder, if committed for 
the purpose of obtaining possession of them, may have 
been committed in vain. The inner pocket of the vest 
may have been found quite empty. 

"Suspicion evidently points to the two men named 
in your messages — Vine, alias Grainger or Smith, and 
Finch, alias Walker. They are, of course, in Paris, and 
for all I know may be at the present moment within a 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, «j 


stoneVthrow of the hotel at which I am writing. What 
their familiarity with Paris hiding-places may be I cannot 
say. In all probability they have come here furnished 
with an address. It is extremely fortunate that I should 
have been able to place Toppin so promptly upon their 
track: and this we owe to your telegrams. Toppin will 
have seen them safely housed, and then, by his rela- 
tions with the French police, will secure their arrest 
on suspicion. I am only just in time to catch the re- 
turn mail." 

The writer sealed up his long epistle, procured the 
necessary postage from the waiter, and directed that 
wondering personage — who now appeared freshly-shaven, 
and with his dingy flannel-shirt hidden by clean linen 
that was rigorously white, with bluish tones — to keep an 
eye upon his travelling-rug, etc., while he ran across to 
the late letter-box at the terminus. He consulted the 
railway clock, dropped the missive into the foreign box 
with a sigh of satisfaction, and stepped into the tele- 
graph-office to wire a message that his "report was fol- 
lowing by morning-mail." While standing at the desk 
he also scribbled a note in these brief terms, and in 
quite an inferior handwriting: — 

"Dear Mary, — Tell the boy to watch Clements, of 
Tudor Street. He is to try and find out if C. receives 
letters bearing Paris postmark, or foreign telegrams. 
Should C. appear to be leaving for Continent, the boy is 
to wire me above hotel. Give him what money he may 
want. He may see some one from the Yard on the 
same tack, but that is to make no difference. C. will be 
on the look-out for the Yard people, and may prove too 
slippery for them. Don't forget the dog's medicine." 

An address was already printed on the crumpled 

the Passenger from Scotland yard. 67 

envelope in which the foregoing note was enclosed. Mrs. 
Byde was the name of the accipient, and she lived in 

The passenger from Scotland Yard, returning across 
the muddy street in the gray light of the winter morning, 
seemed to be able to pick his way among the puddles 
and to look on every side of him simultaneously. His 
friend the waiter, surveying him from the doorway, as 
he approached, apparently found it difficult to classify 
the customer whom the early mail had brought to the 
establishment that day. The phraseograms he would 
habitually pour forth before the Cockney who arrived 
to him an hungred, faltered and died away upon 
his doubting lips. "Chop-and-steaks-and-potate," "Cole- 
rosbif-and-pickells," "Fright-sole-or-gril-kidneys," "Haman- 
negs," — these and other simple viands, richly anointed 
with margarine, had always been favoured by the 
aristocracy of Battersea on Saturday nights, the Sab- 
bath, and Bank Holiday. The waiter had derived there- 
from a poor impression of the English noble as a critic 
of the culinary art; and so he commonly informed those 
members of his family sphere who had not hitherto en- 
joyed the benefits of travel. But the gentleman who had 
come that morning, and who resembled externally any 
other kind of burly gentleman from Battersea — a little 
on in years, perhaps — had just at this moment a glacial 
air which froze upon the waiter's tongue the cockney 
commonplace he usually reserved for English travellers 
with shabby hats and copper-coloured horse-shoe scarf- 
pins. Inspector Byde had not arrayed his person with 
the elegance of a Bond Street fashion-plate, that was 
sure. It was clear he had no arrangement with his tailor 
by which he exhibited and advertised, in return for a 



discount, or a drawback, or "liberal treatment, sir, — oh, 
we know when we're dealing with a gentleman, sir," the 
harmonies of that artist, or his symphonies — under the 
reader's reverence. No; the inspector has the quickest 
of perceptions of all outward effects, as his colleagues in 
the force know well. Who like him can adapt mere no- 
things to the uses of disguise? Who so completely can 
appear the clownish peasant, the sportive stock-broker, 
the atrabiliary meeting-house Jeremiah? When left to 
himself, however, Inspector Byde takes refuge in his 
oldest clothes, and lets his bushy beard grow. And yet 
you would never confound him with Sergeant Bell. The 
waiter swallowed his phraseogram of "tea — coff — choclate 
-r-bottell-beer," and called down the pipe privily to the 
cook to give his best care to the forthcoming order. 

The order, indeed, which presently followed that 
warning was conceived in the happiest vein of gastro- 
nomical propriety, not unblended with zest Inspector 
Byde would sometimes say at home in Camberwell that 
when they had sent him abroad, on business of the De- 
partment, he might have failed to bring them back the 
criminal, but he never failed to bring a new dish to the 
Camberwell kitchen. He used to add that he was a 
better cook than detective; but this was not the opinion 
of Mrs. Byde, who could not relish, do what she would, 
the tripes a la mode de Caen which he occasionally 
essayed, and who did not believe that the mixture of 
tomatoes, butter, eggs, parsley, and garlic, with pepper 
and salt, so often prepared in a frying-pan by the in- 
spector, after that brief trip of his to Marseilles, could 
possibly be otherwise than baneful to a Protestant diges- 
tion. And the valued Caledonian downstairs, who could 
vie with anyone in roast meats and boiled, objected 


strongly to the master's presence in the kitchen. In- 
spector Byde gave his order like a cook and a gentle- 
man; and his "Frenche he spake full fayre and fetisly." 
He had not attended evening classes at the local in- 
stitute for nothing; and he would have rather thought 
that their local institute, at the corner of the terrace, 
ranked as high as any "scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe." 
Whenever he landed upon the soil of France, therefore, 
he conversed with perfect readiness in the three dialects, 
agreeably intermingled, which he had managed to ac- 
quire; the first from the bankrupt Bordeaux hosier, who, 
established in a London villa, instructed the local youth 
of both sexes and adults; the second, from the estimable 
Swiss pastor with whom he had once stayed for the 
benefit of his health; and the other from the Marseilles 
warehouseman to whom he had been referred for certain 
information of departmental interest. He found that he 
always secured attention when he spoke to the natives in 
their own tongue. 

As he waited for his breakfast, Mr. Byde looked 
round for a newspaper. Finding none to his taste, he 
plunged his hand into a capacious coat-pocket and pro- 
duced a few articles which he examined, one by one, 
and then ranged on the table. There were two pipe- 
cases; a small book, like an education-primer; several 
envelopes and sheets of note-paper, between a pair of 
card-board covers; and a clumsy leathern case for spec- 
tacles. The spectacles were blue and large — so large 
and so densely blue that each lens might have been mis- 
taken for a saucer in a tea-service of old china. Mr. 
Byde breathed on the glasses and re-folded them, and 
extracted a piece of lead-pencil from another pocket. 

The waiter must have journeyed to and fro more often 


by a great deal than his service could have required. 
Every time he passed the table over which the strange 
gentleman was bending he craned a little to one side, 
as if he sought to catch a glimpse of that gentleman's 
occupation. Perhaps he fancied that the new arrival 
might be caricaturing the manager of the establishment, 
who was now displaying his portly person at the counter, 
or that his own — the waiter's — oval countenance, shaded 
by short and shining curls, had aroused the admiration 
of the intelligent stranger, who might be transferring the 
picture skilfully to paper. Making ready at length to 
lay the Snow-white tablecloth, he saw that both his im- 
pressions were erroneous. The stranger was tracing 
figures which he could not for the life of him identify 
with any objects in that restaurant. He drew the same 
figures repeatedly on different scales, and two or three 
of them had been traced upon the marble-slab of the 
table itself. It looked like sorcery, especially when the 
designer of the lines and circles printed letters of the 
alphabet here and there, and muttered to himself; but 
the gentleman was perhaps an architect? 

As a matter of fact it was the problem of an equi- 
lateral triangle, to be described on a given finite straight' 
line, that Mr. Inspector Byde had been industriously solv- 
ing upon the marble-slab of the caf£ table. From that 
exercise he had proceeded to a solution of the problem: 
To draw, from a given point, a straight line equal to a 
given straight line. 

"Let A," muttered Mr. Byde, as he printed letters of 
the alphabet here and there, "be the given point, and BC 
the given straight line: it is required to draw from the 
point A a straight line equal to BC. From the point A to B 
draw the straight line AB. Postulate i says that a straight 


line may be drawn from any one point to any other point; 
so that I at once go on to describe upon it the equilateral 
triangle DAB., producing the straight lines DA, DB, to E 
and F; in accordance with postulate 2, which states that 
a terminated straight line may be produced to any length 
in a straight line. From the centre B, at the distance 
BC, I describe the circle CGH, meeting DF at G, inas- 
much as postulate 3 declares that a circle may be de- 
scribed from any centre, at any distance from that centre. 
I next, from the centre D, at the distance DG, describe 
the circle GKL, meeting DE at L. Now it follows from 
the definition that BC is equal to BG, and that AL and 
BC are each of them equal to BG. And as things which 
are equal to the same thing are equal to one another, 
AL is equal to BC; wherefore, from the given point A a 
straight line AL has been drawn, equal to the given 
straight line BC." 

Inspector Byde surveyed his handiwork with approba- 
tion, and added, most conscientiously, "Q. E. F." He 
also demonstrated how, from the greater of two given 
straight lines, a part may be cut off equal to the less; 
which being accomplished, he again pronounced a some- 
what unctuous "Q. E. F." He had not soared to lofty 
mathematical eminences, as the reader will no doubt have 
observed. Indeed, he had never been able to push his 
researches into the eternal truths of Euclid's elements 
farther than proposition 1 2, the scholastic advantages which 
he had almost religiously procured for Master Edgar Byde, 
the sole scion of his house, and possibly a future orna- 
ment to the Yard, having been as a rule beyond his own 
reach, notwithstanding the popular institute at the corner 
of the terrace. But the inspector could do eight out of 
those twelve, he flattered himself, as lucidly as anyone, 



and five of them he knew by heart. Was this bad, when 
you were a busy man, and self-instructed? He could not 
bring himself to seek assistance from his erudite son; but 
he borrowed Master Byde's old school-books, and retained 
them — having paid for them himself — and frequently con- 
sulted those portable volumes, in secret. The dog's-ears 
through the education-primer at his left hand indicated 
the giddy pinnacle to which his son had climbed in regions 
of pure geometry; and of those dog's-ears, together with 
marginal illustrations of the horse, the locomotive-engine, 
the steamship, and the most prominent features of the 
least amiable of the teachers at his son's school, Mr. In- 
spector Byde was very proud. 

It was when there was nothing of particular urgency 
to occupy his mind that the inspector resorted to his rudi- 
mentary diagrams. Some people will sketch impromptu 
forms when they are fancy free, will tear pieces of paper 
into the minutest fragments, gnaw at their finger-nails, 
whistle for the gratification of their neighbours, or pick 
their teeth with the specific implement to which a length- 
ened usage may have attached them. Inspector Byde filled 
up odd quarters of an hour by proving a few familiar 
theorems and solving a cherished problem or two which 
Master Byde would assuredly have disdained. It must 
have been all plain-sailing, for the moment, in the Wilmot 
affair. The passenger from Scotland Yard went on to 
prove that the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle 
are equal to one another, and that, if the equal sides be 
produced, the angles on the other side of the base shall 
be equal to one another, also: the corollary resulting from 
which demonstration being that every equilateral triangle 
is likewise equiangular. 

The waiter bustled in from the street, evidently bur- 



dened with a piece of exciting intelligence. Did mon- 
sieur know? There had been a dreadful deed in the 
train by which monsieur had travelled — a murder. He 
had just learnt all about it from his colleague at the 
restaurant next door but three. Frightful, was it not? 

"What, you have heard of it already, at this end of 
the street?" said the inspector. "Bravo! things are 
smartly done in Paris, aren't they?" 

"Yes — but they can't make out some writing on the 
slip of paper; and I am to go to the commissary's office 
to see if I can read it." 

"A slip of paper?" 

"With writing on it, monsieur — writing in English — 
that looks like an address!" 


It was to a private hotel m a by-street lying between 
the Faubourg St. Honor^ and the Avenue des Champs 
Elysees that Mr. Byers conducted his two companions on 
the morning of their arrival in Paris. As he explained 
to them, the quarter was sufficiently populous and suf- 
ficiently Britannic for their introduction into any portion 
of it to pass unnoticed. A good many of the stable-boys, 
grooms, and coachmen, in fact, who were to be en- 
countered in that quarter came from the various counties 
of the British Isles, and Mr. Bartholomew Finch might 
easily have been mistaken for some among that class. He 
would not readily have been taken, for a personage with 
many grooms and coachmen in his service; nor could his 
presence, as a guest, in marble halls or gilded drawing- 
rooms have failed to strike the observant menials waiting 
upon the company as a circumstance of the most suspi- 


cious order, not to say — if a genuine quotation from the 
servant's hall may be permitted — a promiscuous ab- 

The physiognomy of Sir John, however, lent itself at 
once to any sort of society, high or low. We who are 
acquainted with his antecedents can state that his origin 
was of the most vile, that the associations of his early 
years were brutalising and sinister, and that all his life 
he had profited by crime, although he was never known, 
by men in Soho who are cognisant of everything, to have 
personally engaged in its actual perpetration. The scandal 
in high life which had ended so disastrously for a Spanish 
hidalgo who had settled in Mayfair, had commended the 
Montmorency Vane who had the intrigue with the hidalgo's 
wife to the most favourable notice of the enterprising firm 
of Clements and Company. That distinguished Spaniard 
had espoused an American beauty — indeed, the "belle" 
of Boston; and really a very handsome and widely ill- 
educated young lady — who had thrown over an ingenu- 
ous townsman (the Presbyterian auctioneer, who afterwards 
committed suicide) . for the sake of a Castilian invalid 
and title. When she took her walks in Hyde Park, Mont- 
morency Vane would follow at a distance; sometimes a 
copy of verses, written upon vellum stamped with a coat- 
of-arms, would reach her by the post From her window 
she had occasionally detected him watching her residence 
with the jealousy of true love. He would shroud himself 
in a dark mantle, and pose in the attitude of the mys- 
terious stranger. He told her subsequently that he had 
royal blood in his veins. Montmorency Vane turned out 
to be Vine, alias Grainger. He was not a party to the 
divorce suit, but in the impounded correspondence there 
were notes which bore his name and seal. It proved a 


great shock to the "belle" of Boston who had jilted the 
Presbyterian auctioneer — a young man of great promise 
and fine prospects, and the support of his mother and 
sisters — to find that her own maid had formed the veritable 
attraction. Through her own maid the mysterious stranger 
knew of all her movements; and it was a humiliation 
from which she never recovered to learn that "her purse, 
not her person " — as her counsel declaimed afterwards, 
tautophonically but with noble indignation — had been the 
object of his persistent siege. But it would be of no use 
denying it: about Vine, alias Grainger, or "Sir John," 
there was a something which imposed upon the wisest 
among the fair. Wherever he went, the sex were gracious 
with him; and he hardly went anywhere without turning 
to pecuniary account this gracious disposition of the sex. 
He would borrow the savings of a ladyVmaid, or steal 
them from her; or he would live in a magnificent manner 
for a week or two upon an instalment of hush-money ex- 
torted from her mistress. 

In London, people usually found it so difficult to 
"place" Vine, alias Grainger, that they often transferred 
their attention to his immediate neighbours as a means 
of making up their minds with reference to himself. You 
might have taken him, in London, for a music-hall vocalist, 
or a billiard-marker; for a betting-man, or a professional 
philanthropist; a bill discounter, or a noble viscount who, 
with no money in his pocket, no balance at the bank, 
and not even a few blank cheques to show in a decep- 
tive cheque-book, goes behind the scenes of theatres and 
invites the chorus-girls or ballet-dancers to supper. Vine, 
alias Granger, fitted into Parisian life quite naturally. In 
Paris he would at once become an excellent type of the 
Continental loafer who talks international politics with 


the bias of John Bull, and never learns the language of 
the country. Only card-sharpers would have played /carte 
with him on a first acquaintance. And yet there are men 
of the same external type in Continental cities upon whom 
mistrust would constitute a keen injustice: perfectly honest 
gentlemen — the cousins or brothers-in-law of wealthy 
British residents — who subsist upon the charity of their 
relatives and are not to be surprised in any species of 
indecorous act. As for Sir John, he might have had no 
polish, but he used an impenetrable veneer. He could 
put on a dazzling show of gentility, and had always found 
it answer; gentility being, upon the whole, more ad- 
vantageous to the individual than refinement. At any rate, 
the ladies were always prepossessed in his favour — espe- 
cially those who prided themselves upon their gifts of 

When grandpa arrived at the Hdtel Clifton with his 
charges, the damsel who presided over the small counting- 
house had only just descended. The raw air made its 
way in with the three visitors, and the damsel gazed upon 
them at first not too pleasantly. 

Mr. Byers reminded the young person that he had en- 
gaged an apartment on the first floor for a couple of 
friends who had just come up from Italy. It was a double- 
bedded room, and his two friends, who had travelled for 
some days unbrokenly, would wish for absolute quiet. Until 
they got over their excessive fatigue, and felt a little better 
in health — the doctors had forbidden them to travel north- 
wards, but the demands of business were imperious — they 
would prefer to take their meals privately, in their apart- 
ment. Breakfast might be served at the ordinary hour, 
but in the meantime mademoiselle would send them up 
hot grogs. 


Mademoiselle seemed to have intended to receive the 
strangers haughtily — these foreign travellers presumed 
upon their wealth. She thawed, however, beneath the 
casual glance of Sir John, and informed him, responding 
to Mr. Byers, that everything should be done that could 
possibly be done to secure them comfort and tranquillity. 

The first proceeding of Mr. Finch, on their installing 
themselves in the apartment on the first-floor, was to look 
out of the window and estimate the distance of the drop. 
Mr. Byers examined the recesses and tested the walls. 
Satisfied that they were secure from any risk of being 
overheard, Mr. Byers dragged a chair up to the mantel- 
piece, and warmed himself at the log fire. 

"Now, John," said he, "there must be no reticences 
in this affair, you know. Let us have the remainder of 
the story, just as it happened, nothing more and nothing 
less. Whatever it is, out with it. If you've gone farther 
in this than we like, we can back out, can't we, and say 
no more about it? We're men of business: you're safe 
with me, and I'm safe with you. You've taken me up to 
the last stoppage but one. At Amiens you had made up 
your mind to get the property between Creil and Paris? 
Is that it?" 

"That's it, grandpa," confirmed Mr. Finch. 

"Well," began Vine, alias Grainger, slowly, "I dare 
say you'll want to wash your hands of this business, Byers, 
when you've heard how it stands. As for Bat, if I am 
implicated, he's implicated too. Appearances might be 
against us at a pinch, but, after all, there's nothing they 
could prove.. If you left us, Byers, if you said you would 
have nothing more to do with it, /shouldn't be surprised; 
but I know we should be safe with you." 

"My character ought to be pretty well-known by this 


time, I should hope," returned Mr. Byers distantly. "Fve 
done business with as many hard-working thieves as any- 
body, and I should like to know who could have sent 
men to penal servitude if / couldn't — and some of them 
richly deserved it for their ingratitude; but I bear no 
malice, and I remembered their wives and families. Safe 
with me! What do you say, Bat?" 

"I say that I want Mr. clever Sir John to tell me 

without any more palaver what the Fm 'implicated* 

in, that's what / say," growled Bartholomew. 

"Perhaps you'll blame me for what has happened?" 
resumed the other. "It was no fault of mine. How 
could I know? You're well off that I changed my mind 
at the last moment; if I had kept to the original arrange- 
ment, you might have been in this condition, too!" He 
took out his handkerchief, and contemplated the stains 
of blood for an instant, without any signs of emotion. 
"My plan was for Bat, here, to follow me along the step 
into the compartment where Remington had gone. It 
was very easy; the night was pitch dark; there were 
only a few people in the train; Remington had a second- 
class ticket, and could not be more than three or four 
compartments along; he had been endeavouring to get a 
compartment to himself ever since we left Calais, and 
could hardly keep his eyes open; and by trying it after 
Creil, the last stoppage, we ran a good chance of finding 
him half asleep. I may want to cut things short some- 
times, but no one can accuse me of ever mixing myself 
up with violence. I did not desire any violence; I detest 
violence. If the boys would take a leaf out of my book, 
they wouldn't be sent to 'penal' quite so often, I can 
tell you, or be settled by the black cap, leaving their 
families to go upon the parish rates." 


"When the boys ain't such favourites with the ladies, 
they have to do the best they can," commented Mr. 
Finch, rather rudely, as his companion paused — "me, for 
instance. Not that I'm a partisan of violence — oh, dear 
no, not me! Though I like to cut things short, as much 
as other people, and what I want to know at the present 
moment is, what the Fm 'implicated' in!" 

"Supposing we had found him on the look-out, what 
could he have dared to do? He had the property about 
him, and would have immediately known that we knew 
it. If he had shown fight, without making any noise, 
we were too strong for him; if he had called for help, 
or signalled to stop the train, he was at our mercy, be- 
cause he had the property on his person, and we could 
have denounced him. What I meant to do was just to 
tell him quietly what we had come for, to recommend 
him to make no fuss, and to get it from him peaceably. 
We might have handed him something over for the 
trouble he had been put to, and had a drink with him 
when we arrived in Paris. That was my combination. 
It was straightforward, wasn't it — a straightforward plan, 
and pretty good?" 

"The A B C of the game— that's all!" replied Mr. 

"The A B C of the game, no doubt," said the other 
coolly; "if two things had not happened; if, to begin with, 
Mr. Bat, here, had not kept me arguing, after we left 
Creil, that it was better to wait until we reached Paris, 
and then watch our man and get the diamonds from 
him 'comfortably' — 'comfortably!' I told him to stay 
where he was, but to keep a look-out on the nearside of 
the train, up as well as down." 

"A look-out! You couldn't see your hand before 


you; and as for hearing anybody, you couldn't have heard 
it thunder, with the row the train was making. I admit 
I wanted to wait until we got to Parry, but as you had 
made your mind up to bring it off in the train, why 
couldn't I have come with you? No; you would have 
your own way — you said that that would spoil it." 

"Because, on second thoughts, if I could have caught 
him with his eyes closed, or asleep, it would have been 
quicker for one to do it than two; and then, with a bit 
of cloth across my face, I could have got away without 
his guessing who had pinned him down so artfully, and 
robbed him. And if he had struggled, he would have 
been hurt. The property could have been passed on to 
Bat, and I could have finished the journey in one of the 
empty compartments, just in case of accidents. Well, 
wasn't that pretty good?" 

"I want to know what I'm implicated in," said Mr. 
Finch gloomily. 

"Murder," replied his colleague deliberately. "And 
as we were followed from the station on spec, and be- 
fore it could have been discovered, Byers would be in 
it, too, if he could be identified as one of the three. 
When I got on to the footboard, on the off-side of the 
train, I found it was easier work than I had thought. 
There was no danger of the guard coming along again 
to look at the tickets, and even in broad daylight the 
passengers could not have seen me unless they had had 
their heads out of the window. As it was, the windows 
were all closed, and where there were passengers, some 
of the blinds were drawn. The train was going very 
fast, and swung now and then, but I found it easy 
enough to creep along. Everything was there ready to 
ypur hand. I thought I had gone past the compartment, 


owing to the drawn curtains, but presently I got to our 
man. There was an empty compartment on each side 
of his, and nothing could have seemed better. The lamp 
had burnt very low, but I could see that he was lying 
along the seat nearest the engine, with something under 
his head for a pillow, and his feet almost touching the 
door I meant to open. I did not think he could be 
asleep, with the knowledge that he had this property 
about him; but it looked as if he had come to the con- 
clusion that all was safe, as we were getting near Paris; 
and that he was dozing. I had the door open in a 
second, and in another second I had him by the throat. 
He did not resist, and I shook him to see whether he 
would speak. He did not speak; but as I shook him I 
felt something at the side of his throat, moist and sticky. 
It was blood. I turned his head gently towards the 
light, and there was a small wound at the left temple. 
I tried the pulse. Our man was dead." 

"And that is how you got those stains on your hand- 
kerchief and your hands?" said Mr. Byers, breaking the 
silence which ensued upon this announcement. 

"That is how." 

"Then' there ought to be marks on the door, as you 
closed it after you, on going back; and a mark or two, 
perhaps, on the handles as you went along to your own 
compartment again?" 

"It had not quite left off raining, as I crept back, 
and the rain must have washed away any traces of that 
sort. I entered almost the first empty compartment I 
came to, and that is the reason why Bat and I did not 
meet again before giving up our tickets at the terminus." 

"When did you get those nasty stains on your hand- 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 6 


"When I wiped my wrist, afterwards, in the compart- 
ment alone. Whoever had done it could not have been 
there very long before me; and you can take your affidavit 
that I didn't stay there very long, either. It was quite 
sufficient for me to see that sealskin vest unbuttoned, 
and the pocket in the lining turned inside out." 

Neither Mr. Byers nor Finch, alias Walker, made any 

"A child might have floored me when I found out 
what had happened," resumed the narrator. "I could 
scarcely believe it. I was so upset, that I nearly let go 
my hold as I went back along the footboard. The dis- 
appointment was enough to make you jump under the 

Mr. Byers gazed into the log-fire. Finch, alias Walker, 
tilted his chair back and studied the arabesques around 
the ceiling. 

"Such a thing never happened to me before," con- 
tinued Sir John; "and I wish I could have come across 
the party who forestalled us!" 

"Why?" said Mr. Byers. 


"Yes — why? He wouldn't have been likely to be 
dozing, you know. And you had no weapons— -that is, 
you had no fire-arms?" 

Sir John looked at his questioner without replying at 
once. He then transferred his scrutiny to Mr. Finch. 

"What does this amount to?" he demanded presently, 
rising to his feet. "Does this mean that you doubt my 
word? Which of you doubts my word — come?" Mr. 
Byers whistled softly to himself, and stirred one of the 
blazing logs with his foot. His companion followed with 
a fascinated air an arabesque in faded blue. "Bat knows 


what I had, besides the sword-stick which I left in his 
care. If I had any fire-arms, where are they now? And 
why should I want to put the double on you? There 
would have been more than enough for all of us, and 
for three times our number. The stones were under- 
valued, Clements says. Why should I want to put the 
double on? Besides, you can satisfy yourself. Search me!" 

"John, I am surprised at you," remonstrated Mr. Byers. 
"Your attitude just now was unbecoming in the extreme. 
Menaces! And with regard to searching, we don't search 
one another — not exactly! If we did not trust to one 
another, business could not possibly go on. What do 
you say, Bartholomew?" 

"Pity he didn't jump under those wheels — when he 
got those marks about him — that's what I say," re- 
sponded Mr. Finch. "He hasn't yet found out that he 
smeared his own undercoat with the staijis from his hand 
— and look at it! Search him? He'll have to search himself 
if he wants to go out into the public streets with me.' 9 

"Well, now, of course he will take the necessary pre- 
cautions; that is another question. Make up your mind 
to this; you will both be suspected, primd facte, by the 
persons — friend Toppin, his colleague, and the rest — who 
know of your presence in the train; and that, of course, 
involves myself. Unfortunate — most unfortunate! What 
we have to do now is to find the property, because then 
we find the gentleman who did this business, or we get 
upon his track. If we succeed in taking over the pro- 
perty, we can soon get the gentleman iqdicated to Scot- 
land Yard. Search you, John! Oh dear no! The gentle- 
man I should like to search, from what you tell me of 
the proceedings on the way, is either" — grandpa paused 

in delivering judgment — "Byde himself " 


84 'the passenger from Scotland yard. 

"Byde!" exclaimed Mr. Finch, this time really as- 

"I wish I could think it was Byde," muttered Sir 

"Or the talkative man, what's-his-name, in the tem- 
perance cause; and in my opinion that is the party we 
shall have to look for." 

"You've hit it, grandpa," said Mr. Finch. 

"My own idea, Byers — the temperance man!" said 
Sir John emphatically. "To find the property, we must 
find that gentleman: though, if it were Byde " 

"Oh, he's quite deep enough to have thought about 
it," observed Mr. Byers, "but let us do him justice. 
There's no man at the Yard who's cleverer than Byde, 
but there's no man who's more honest. I did know one 
of them, a great linguist, Greek by descent — he's now 
away, doing fifteen years — who would not have hesitated 
a very long time about putting a knife into Remington — 
not a bullet: too clumsy — getting the valuables, and 
having you both arrested before you were fifty yards out- 
side the station. It is greatly to be regretted that there 
has been any violence in this affair; but the person who 
was there before you, John, was not a regular hand. No 
regular hand would use a fire-arm, would he?" 

"Of course not. That's exactly what I said to my- 
self," exclaimed Sir John. 

"I'll give a prize to any lady or gentleman who will 
bring the address of our dear friend from England to 
Mr. Bartholomew Finch, Esq., in the course of the after- 
noon," remarked Mr. Finch. 

Vine, alias Grainger, tried to recall the title of the 
organization upon whose beneficent influence Brother 
Neel had been expatiating. He failed, however, despite 


all his attempts. Mr. Byers, who had immediately 
brightened up, declared that it did not matter in the 
smallest degree. He would procure a list of the as- 
sociations of that character which existed in Paris; they 
were not numerous, and John might be able to recognise 
the name, if he saw it. Only they must lose no time. 

"It's lucky Fm with you in this, my boys," concluded 
Mr. Byers, rising from his chair, and looking for his hat. 
"Without me, what a nice mess you would be in! As 
it is, I undertake to unearth your temperance friend, 
and to put you in the way of getting quits with him. 
That part of the work will be for you to do, and if you 
do it effectually he will only get what he deserves for 
his dishonesty." 

"Those temperance preachers!" reflected Mr. Finch 
aloud. "I wouldn't like to go into a crowd of them with 
my watch and chain on. I wouldn't even toss with 
them for drinks. Give me the man that likes his two- 
penn'orth of gin — that's the chap I can trust!" He - 
sipped noisily at his grog. 

"Leave the arrangements to me," continued Mr. Byers 
— "and don't stir out of doors. I may come back at 
any time — perhaps not till this evening, perhaps not till 
to-morrow. Don't be alarmed if my absence should be 
prolonged. I must see how the land lies, and bring you 
back something definite. Ah, what clever boys we are 
from London, are we not? What should we do — what- 
ever should we do — without poor old grandpa, who has 
practically retired from business?" After which playful 
thrust, and before departing, Mr. Byers instructed his 
juniors in the methods of filling up fallaciously the police 
sheets of the Paris hotels. 

Sir John and Mr. Finch found that the hours hung 


heavily on their hands throughout the day. They had 
their meals served in their apartment, and, as invalids, 
did their best to restrain their appetites. When they 
were not eating, or taking a nap, they played at cards, 
although each knew that the other habitually cheated, 
and each preferred to play with his own pack, reproach- 
ing the other at the same time for his want of con- 

A curious incident occurred later. Overcome by 
their fatigue, they dropped off to sleep almost as soon 
as they had disrobed themselves and retired to their 
respective couches for the night. Their regular breathing 
presently became louder, and continued both loud and 
rhythmical: the profound sleep of the good man and the 
weary was indubitably theirs. But Finch, alias Walker, 
seemed to be subject to somnambulism. Still breathing 
in the vigorous cadence to which we have alluded, he 
gradually slid out of the high mahogany bedstead he was 
occupying, and went through a series of movements which 
might have appeared surreptitious, if detected by Sir John. 
No light was burning in the room, but the rays of a street 
lamp just caught their window and faintly illuminated the 
interior. Mr. Finch had the air of stealthily proceeding 
towards his companion's garments. Yes, it was certainly 
towards this point that he had directed his course, for 
he was now engaged in the examination of the pockets, 
and, that process over, he very carefully inspected the 
lining of the small black leather bag. Had he mistaken 
these objects for his own? The spectator who might 
have adopted this conclusion would have most probably 
revised his judgment when he perceived the somnambulist 
turn in the direction of Sir John. Arrived at the latter^ 
bedside, he stood there apparently surveying his relaxed 


features and listening to the measure of his notes. Such 
a remarkable fixity of attention, such obedience to a 
paramount idea, will not astonish any persons learned in 
the phenomena of somnambulism. 

Finch, alias Walker, extended his left hand, and began 
gently — oh, most gently — to insinuate it under the pillow 
of his sleeping partner. The digital dexterity of Mr. 
Finch must have been from his earliest years cultivated 
to the acme of perfection. An ivory paper-knife inserted 
between the bolster and the mattress could hardly have 
caused a slighter derangement than the advance of that 
supple palm; it was impossible that the motion should 
wake the sleeper. 

"When you've done!" suddenly remarked Vine, alias 
Grainger, in a tone of expostulation. 

"Ah, that's exactly what I thought," replied the som- 
nambulist imperturbably. "I would have laid a thousand 
on it. A nice man to come away with, this is! Shams 
sleep the very first night — puts the double on, with a 
pal. All right!" 

"No offence, I hope?" inquired Sir John ironically. 

"All right— all right!" 

"I was dreaming that I had found the man we want," 
continued Sir John, in the same tone. 

"And I was dreaming that I had found the property!" 

"You had better dream that over again, and take a 
note of the address," retorted Sir John. 


Inspector Byde had finished his breakfast; and he 
had also finished questioning the waiter on the presum- 
able ingredients of a sauce which helped the thinking 


faculty, he said, and which he would have been pleased 
to see acclimatised to Camberwell. He was now reclining 
with a certain majesty upon the red velveteen cushions 
of the cafe attached to the Terminus Hotel. From the 
half-dozen articles he had brought out of his pocket 
previously, and arrayed upon the table, he selected the 
leathern cases that contained respectively a large pipe 
and a little one. The indecision with which he regarded 
their competing charms might have seemed trivial in a 
person of his years — and quite unworthy of a man so 
justly respected in so serious a vocation — to anyone un- 
acquainted with his ways. The inspector had two pipes, 
because he had two moods. His present mood, however, 
was after all not the anxious one; it was the mood of 
roseate calm, sanguine tranquillity. He therefore took up 
the smaller calumet; and, after loading its wooden bowl 
with tobacco of a golden hue, he smiled long and placidly 
at a gay advertisement exposed upon the wall in front of 
him, without becoming in the least aware of its poematic 
and pictorial purport. 

Thus absorbed, he undoubtedly did not notice a manly 
form which appeared before the entrance to the cafe from 
the street, which crossed the threshold dubiously, and which 
at length advanced straight towards him. The manly 
form halted at the inspector's table, and sank into a seat. 
It was Toppin. 

"Take a nip," said Byde laconically, after a sharp 

He pushed the tray, with the diminutive decanter 
and glass, across the table to his colleague. 

"They've got away," announced Toppin, looking very 

"How was that?" 



Toppin explained that about the movements of the 
parties he had been commissioned to follow there had 
been nothing suspicious until they left the Halles. They 
had driven to the Central Markets and had come away 
again, arid it was only when they were returning from 
that point that he discovered grounds for suspicion in 
their behaviour. The cab was evidently pursuing a cir- 
cuitous route, inasmuch as the coachman turned back 
from the Halles and partly retraced his steps. Pulling 
up at an ordinary district post-office, which was not yet 
open for the day, the cabman had descended from his 
place to drop a missive of some sort into the box. No 
one but the driver had descended; of that he felt quite 
positive. The cab had then gone off to a different locality 
altogether. He was careful to keep the vehicle in view, 
and when it stopped once more at a tavern, he was 
certain that, in this instance also, the driver was the only 
individual who alighted. After a slight delay the journey 
was resumed at a quick pace; and what was his astonish- 
ment when eventually the vehicle pulled up at a cab- 
stand, and took a station at the extremity of the rank as 
though no party or parties were inside it! Hardly 
knowing whether to show himself or not, he hesitated for 
some time to approach the vehicle. When he did go up 
to it there was, sure enough, but a single occupant — the 
coachman, who had made himself comfortable inside with 
the object of enjoying a nap. This man was half asleep 
and half intoxicated. All he could elicit from him with 
regard to his last "fare" was that they were people who 
did not know their own mind, and that they had dis- 
charged him at the Halles. 

"I don't believe this," wound up Mr. Toppin, "but 


I've taken his number. If they threw me off at the 
Halles, it must have been done as quick as lightning." 

"And to have been done as quick as lightning, it 
must have been done because they saw you following 
them," answered his colleague. "I should recommend 
you to go and find them again. It's very likely they'll 
be wanted." 

Inspector Byde then briefly informed Detective Toppin 
of the new aspect which the case of the Wilmot diamonds 
had assumed. The discovery of the murder had been 
made soon after Toppin's departure on his errand of 
watching the two suspicious characters to whom their 
attention had been called by the telegrams from Scotland 
Yard. It was a great pity the men had eluded him. 

"I did not think it could be so urgent," pleaded 

"Well, now, what would be the procedure here in a 
matter of this kind? What will be done with the body?" 

"That depends a good deal on the police commissary 
attached to the terminus. It would be left to his dis- 
cretion whether the body should be removed at once to 
the Morgue, or be retained during the day at the station, 
for the purposes of the inquiry. A commissary at one 
place might decide one way, whilst another commissary 
might decide the other way. It might depend on the 
circumstances of the case; but it might also depend," 
added Toppin, recovering his assurance as he gave his 
colleague these particulars, "upon the intelligence of the 
commissary or on his ambition. If he wants to bring 
himself before public notice he might keep the body 
where it is as long as pp§sible in order to have the 
control of the investigation. If he* wants to avoid trouble 


or extra work he would send it on to the Morgue at 
once, having made his notes and taken all the necessary 
evidence on the spot as soon as possible. The matter is 
left a good deal to his discretion, but there are other 
functionaries to be borne in mind too. There is the 
juge d' instruction, or magistrate, charged with the pre- 
liminary investigation of a crime; and I believe the 
Procureur de la Republique would come in at this early 
stage. It is difficult to say where the jurisdictions of 
these officials begin and end; they don't always appear 
to know themselves. And even if their functions are 
Well defined and don't conflict, I have known of jealousies 
among these officials which have hampered criminal in- 
vestigations from the outset." 

"But for the identification of Remington — how will 
they manage, supposing that nothing to identify him 
should be found upon the body?" 

"Why, you can identify him yourself!" 

"Yes; and that's what I particularly mean to abstain 
from doing. And you will greatly assist me, Mr. Toppin, 
by forgetting absolutely, so far as the French authorities 
are concerned, all that I have told you as to Remington 
and the Wilmot affair. You do not know the name or 
business of the deceased; you learnt his case from the 
ordinary channels, remember — the newspapers this after- 
noon, if you like; and you place yourself at the disposal 
of the French police to take measures for ascertaining 
the identity. Now, what I want to know is will this 
corpse be publicly exposed?" 

"Yes; that is why it will be removed to the Morgue 
—for the purposes of identifip ation." 

"Very well. It goes tQ the Morgue, where anyone 
can- enter and see it. Now, do you think the body will 


be taken to the Morgue, for public exposure, by this 

"This afternoon? Yes; certainly. It may be on its 
way there now. If you desired to examine the scene of 
the occurrence, before the corpse was moved, I could 
have arranged that for you with the commissary* of the 
station. But I am afraid you would be too late now; and 
then you don't wish me to appear in the case just yet." 

Did Toppin suspect his colleague of a wish to keep 
him in the background? Was all the credit in this case, 
which promised to turn out a first-rate affair, to be mono- 
polised by a man already covered with distinction like 
Byde? Toppin seemed to think it hard that this could 
be possible. What could Inspector Byde, with all his 
foresight, perseverance, and ability, accomplish in a place 
like Paris, if he had not at his elbow Toppin's knowledge 
of the Parisians and their city, and Toppin's intelligence ! 

"I took all the notes I want, I think — as to the ap- 
pearances at the scene of the occurrence — before the 
commissary was out of bed. I want to know about what 
time the body would be exhibited for identification. That, 
however, we can soon calculate on learning when the 
transfer to the Morgue has taken place, if it shpuld have 
already taken place. Anybody about here would en- 
lighten us as to whether the commissary has kept the 
body in the station or sent it on. The waiter will be in 
presently with a piece of information for me, and he will 

Toppin evidently wondered what could be the nature 
of this piece of information, but he did not ask. He 
was under the orders of his colleague, and the latter had 
apparently got to work on some tack or traces of his own. 

"Are we looking for the murderer?" ventured Toppin 


impulsively, "or these valuables — you and I, I mean?" 
He reddened, as if he felt he had said something foolish* 
"Because," he added, nettled at the expression of patient 
endurance with which the inspector received this query, 
"the French police are very susceptible of interference. 
We may be quite in order on the subject of the diamond 
robbery; but the murder is their affair, not ours." 

"If we find the diamonds for ourselves, we may find 
the murderer for them; if they find the murderer for 
themselves, they may find the diamonds for us!" 

The waiter returned at this instant with no doubt the 
piece of information of which mention had been made. 

"The slip of paper was not discovered by the com- 
missary, monsieur," he said, addressing Inspector Byde. 
"It was picked up by one of the employ 6s of the railway 
before the commissary arrived, but was handed to him 
when he came to draw up his report. The employe* 
found it near the door farthest away from the body of 
this unfortunate gentleman. Ah, messieurs, what a ter- 
rible event! What could have been the motive of such 
a dreadful crime? Don't you think it may have been a 
case of suicide? The commissary believes that the un- 
fortunate gentleman has fallen a victim to a secret society, 
because none of the valuables about him were disturbed. 
Do you believe that he has been assassinated for political 
reasons, monsieur — assassinated by the members of some 
secret society? I can't think so myself; I never heard of 
any such cases in Battersea during the whole time I was 
there, and I fancy /know the English people!" 

"Did you remember what I asked you to ascertain 
exactly? Did you ascertain exactly whereabouts in the 
compartment the slip of paper was found?" 

"Why, yes, monsieur. I did not forget, being inter- 


ested in this terrible occurrence, and likewise in the 
painful possibility of the deceased being that relative of 
monsieur who might have travelled by the train from 
Amiens, though, as monsieur said, it was most unlikely, 
seeing that he hair business which prevented his leaving 
that town during the whole of the present week; though 
one never knows what may happen at any moment to 
change one's plans or habits: witness the hatter in the 
same street as my brother-in-law, who never went out on 
a foggy evening, and never would, until one afternoon 
his uncle came from the Mauritius, and they went to the 
theatre together — I forget the name of the piece, but it 
was a theatre high up on the boulevard — and the night 
being a foggy one, the hatter coughed so much that he 
came home earlier than the uncle, through a short cut, 
and was assassinated and robbed, though he had nothing 
in his pockets but seven francs forty-five centimes, and 
a silver watch that never marked the hour; whilst the 
uncle from the Mauritius, who had amassed a fortune 
and wore jewellery such as a prince might not have been 
ashamed of, walked home three hours later, very gay, 
and was unmolested. It could not have been the relative 
of monsieur, because my confrere, Monsieur Aristide, the 
second waiter at the restaurant farther along, heard the 
commissary state to his subordinate on the platform of 
the station that the ticket in the possession of the de- 
ceased was right through from London to Paris, and had 
been booked the night before, that is to say, for the 
mail-train itself. As for the slip of paper which I spoke 
of to monsieur, it might easily have escaped attention, 
for it lay partly under one of the seats at the far end." 

"At the far end? — that is to say, at a distance from 
the body of this passenger?" 


"So I learnt, monsieur, from the employe^ thanks to 
the piece of money I remitted to him in obedience to 
the instructions of monsieur, whose anxiety I trust is now 
appeased, the unfortunate passenger being manifestly, as 
his railway-ticket proves, not the m&tive of monsieur 
who resides at Amiens r and who might by chance have 
travelled in the train, though all doubt could be set at 
rest by a telegraphic message despatched to Amiens, if 
monsieur does not wish to go to the Morgue and view 
the body, where it will be exposed this afternoon, the 
commissary having stated that before the inquiry could 
make any progress the identification must have been dis- 
posed of. By this time, probably, the body has been 
delivered at the Morgue." 

"Did the porter, or whoever the railway servant was, 
describe the slip of paper to you?" 

"Yes; it was a single sheet of white paper, like English 
note-paper, and it had been folded once — just doubled." 

"And this writing you speak of — where were the 
characters traced?" 

"On the inside. The name and address had been 
written along the single sheet of paper, and it had then 
been folded in two — like that, the employe told me" — 
the waiter illustrated his meaning by folding up the 
ornate bill of fare. 

"And the address — could he give you any idea of it?" 

"Oh no, monsieur, except that there were two letters 
at the end of it. He knows that 'London* means 
'Londres; 7 but it did not say 'London.' It said 'S.W. 7 
The name he could read, because it is a name we have 
in France — 'Adelaide.' " 

"Did the commissary make any remark when the slip 
of paper was handed to him?" inquired Toppin. 


Before replying, the waiter looked at Toppin's col- 
league, as if for assurance as to the locus standi of the 
new-comer. The inspector nodded, and the waiter quoted 
the commissary of police to the effect that the slip of 
paper must have been dropped by some person sitting 
near the far door of the compartment — perhaps by the 
deceased himself before changing his seat, for there was 
nothing to prove that the deceased had occupied the 
same place in the compartment throughout the journey. 

"Was there any stain upon the paper — any mark of 
blood, for instance?" inquired Inspector Byde. 

"No;" the waiter had expressly put that question, 
because he was aware of the great importance of blood- 
stains on objects found near persons suspected to have 
been murdered. He had read of a most extraordinary 
instance, in fact, in a newspaper taken at the hotel — not 
in the "events of the day," but in a life-like story which 
had been running through its columns and had been 
collected by the chamber-maid of the first floor in order 
to be bound — "The Fortune-teller's Prediction; or, the 
Posthumous Vengeance of the Murdered Heir." The first 
thing he had asked the employe was whether there had 
been blood-stains upon this piece of paper, and he had 
felt exceedingly disappointed to learn that there were no 
stains of any description upon it. "Monsieur will pardon 
me the indiscretion," pursued the waiter after a pause — 
"but would monsieur be, by hazard, connected at all with 
the English police?" 

"I!" exclaimed the inspector, laughing heartily, "con- 
nected with the police? Ask this gentleman! Where did 
you get such an idea as that?" 

"From the station, monsieur — only vaguely, vaguely — 
monsieur will excuse me " — and the waiter joined heartily 



in the laugh at the ridiculous nature of his own supposi- 
tion. "It seems that an agent of the English police ob- 
tained a view of the compartment before M. le Commis- 
saire himself, and that he took some notes, which has 
greatly angered M. le Commissaire, who says for all we 
know he may have taken not only his notes but some- 
thing else besides. And since monsieur has no connection 
with the police I may be permitted the liberty of ex- 
plaining that no one of my family has ever been able to 
endure that class, and that I should have personally much 
regretted rendering monsieur the assistance I have sought 
to render him by interrogating the employ^ of the rail- 
way. I thought, perhaps, from the interest exhibited in 
the unfortunate occurrence — but monsieur is perhaps 
architect?" He glanced at the diagrams, with letters of 
the alphabet here and there, traced upon the margin of 
the table. 

"Just imagine that he should have divined it!" ejacu- 
lated the inspector, turning with open admiration towards 
his colleague. "What clever people they are, now, all 
these foreigners, are they not? You haven't heard him 
speak English yet; but he speaks it so well, in the purest 
accent of London, that you and I, being from the country, 
might not do ill to take a lesson or two. It was in Batter- 
sea that his studies were industriously prosecuted — and 
he knows the language — oh, he knows it!!" 

"Oh, yes — very well — London," assented the waiter, 
for Mr. Toppin's benefit; "I speak in Battersea always 
the most pure." 

"And just to think that he should have guessed it — 
architect! What clever people they all are to be sure!" 
Mr. Byde directed the waiter to bring him the hotel police- 
sheet, on which he had purposely deferred registering 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 7 


particulars anent himself. He then inscribed upon that 
precious record that Mr. Byde, architect, forty-five years 
of age, had travelled to Paris from the town of Brighton, in 
the department of Sussex; country, England. "So that 
you will know, if telegrams or letters are delivered here 
for a Mr. Byde, that they are for me," he added. "What 
a help, Toppin," observed the inspector, as the waiter 
bore away the police-book, "if we had all these papers 
to work from in England! How we could trace aliases, 
hey — how we could pounce upon stolen property before 
it had been passed along!" 

"Yes," replied Toppin, "and people sometimes do fill 
them up honestly by mistake." 

"Architect! — well, well! — simple enough, and yet 
who'd have found it?" Mr. Byde effaced the diagrams 
drawn in pencil on the marble table. "And so we are 
architects : of other people's fortunes — or fates." 

"That young man who has been to Battersea looks to 
me as if he might be in the pay of the police himself," 
said Toppin. "This is just the right spot for keeping an 
eye on suspicious arrivals and departures, and he would 
not talk openly like that about the police for nothing. 
He is just the sort of simpleton the Prefecture would get 
for their money — just the nai/mih a mixture of cunning. 
What can you expect? They can't get clever people for 
their terms. They want agents everywhere, but they can't 
afford to pay such a number well." 

"We must see that slip of paper, if possible, Toppin; 
we must have that address, if it should be an address. 
You can have heard of this affair by chance, and you 
know nothing at all about Remington's identity. Can you 
manage it before the afternoon?" 

"I think I can; though it will only be because they 


know me. It will be necessary to ascertain whether the 
commissary has kept the paper for his own report, or 
sent it on to the Morgue with the body, or handed it 
over already to the Juge destruction; and that may 
occupy a little time." 

"Notice whether the address was in a feminine hand- 

"Is there a woman in this case?" 

"The name Adelaide is a name I like," said Mr. Byde. 

He knocked the ashes out of the wooden bowl, and 
restored the smaller of the two pipes to its leathern case. 

"Shall we walk together?" suggested Toppin. 

"I want to put on my considering-cap?" said the 

He opened the bulkier case in black leather, and 
from a nest as soft as eider-down extracted a pipe in 
massive meerschaum. While he filled and lighted it, and 
6rew from its capacious bowl half a dozen preliminary 
puffs, the inspector imported into his face an expression 
of such deep thought that his colleague did not venture 
to break in with any queries, or for the moment to follow 
up their conversation. The case had evidently a feminine 
side: did the inspector aim at keeping this from him? 

"Coming on nicely, isn't it!" remarked the inspector, 
at length, taking the pipe from his mouth, and com- 
placently surveying the tinged meerschaum. The bowl 
was carved into the semblance of a sphinx, and was 
capped with a small plate of silver. The base had, been 
smoked into a rich amber tint, the forehead of the sphinx 
was sallow, a tawny blush was mantling in the cheeks. 

"A fine bit of meerschaum," answered Toppin, with 
suppressed irritation. 

"A present," pursued his colleague. "That pipe was 


given to me by a poor man who would have gone away 
for five years' 'penal' if it hadn't been for me. The 
evidence was all against him, you would have said, no 
jury would have hesitated. I brought the right man into 
the dock only just in time. When the other was set free, 
he would have given me everything that belonged to him, 
and the neighbours in the street he lives in — it was only 
last Michaelmas — began to subscribe for a testimonial to 
Inspector Byde. I let the man give me this pipe, and 
what it has done for me during the past three months is 
something wonderful. I don't have to smoke at it long. 
The very last case I was in, the case I had before they 
put me on to this one — the alleged mysterious dis- 
appearance in the north of London, which I dare say you 
read of in the papers — mightn't have been solved for 
ever so long if it hadn't been for this meerschaum pipe. 
I was smoking it when I hit upon the idea which gave 
us the key to that ingenious little arrangement. It's com- 
ing on nicely; but I shall be sorry to see it coloured, all 
the same." 

"The slip of paper found in the compartment," began 
Toppin, again, "need not have been dropped where it 
was found. Suppose it had been dropped near the other 
door, by the side of the victim, the draught from the 
window, if it was open, or a single gust of wind from 
that door, if it had been left open for a moment or two, 
might have easily drifted it along to the spot where it 
was discovered." 

"And so?" 

"And so I conclude that no matter how the assassin 
entered the compartment, and whether he was there two 
minutes or two hours, the address on that scrap of paper 
may lead us to him; although we know that in practice 


criminals don't generally carry about with them incrimina- 
tory morsels of paper ready to be dropped out of their 
pockets, at the right moment for the cause of justice. 
Still, there's no reason why it shouldn't happen — it's not 
impossible. Don't you think the address might lead us 
to the guilty person?" 

"It might." 

"Then you agree with me that this piece of paper 
may have belonged to the person who was the thief and 

"It may have belonged to him." 

"And fell from his pocket, we will say, as he was 
stooping over the victim. — at any rate, was dropped by 
him accidentally?" 


"How then?" 

"It may have belonged to him — yes; it might in- 
directly lead us up to his identity — yes; but that a com- 
promising half-sheet of note-paper, just doubled, as we 
have heard, should be carried by an intending criminal 
in any such place as an open pocket, from which it could 
easily fall, at exactly the wrong instant for him — no, 
Toppin! We see that sort of thing sometimes, at the 
theatre, when we take our wives; but you know as well 
as I do " 

"What's the alternative suggestion?" 

"The address may possibly incriminate another 


"The slip of paper may have been very carefully 
placed by the assassin himself where it was found." 

"Is that your view?" 



"What do you say then, inspector?" demanded Toppin. 

"I say that the half-sheet of paper, doubled, may 
have belonged to the deceased. I say that it may have 
been lying in the inner pocket of the vest, and that when 
that pocket was turned inside out, or when some other 
article was snatched from it, this piece of paper may 
have fallen out, and floated to the spot where it was 
found. Whether the assassin noticed the paper or not, 
would not matter. He would have no motive for taking 
it away — quite the contrary. He would be more likely 
to throw down anything which was not the particular 
object he came for. What was done was done in a 
hurry. He had no time to replace things — besides, why 
should he replace them?" 

"Granting all that, what becomes of the use of the 
address to us? We know who the victim is — we want to 
find the assassin." 

"So would other people want to find the assassin, 
viz., the original thieves. We don't know who they are, 
but they must have had their plans laid, and this pro- 
perty will be worth their taking some trouble over. Cer- 
tainly, if I am right, this address won't help us to the 
identity of the assassin; but it may help us to the mode 
of the theft, in the first place. We had better see tjiis 
half-sheet of note-paper." 

The two colleagues relapsed into silence. Inspector 
Byde was finishing his pipe, and staring down the cafe 
into the street, when he abruptly started to his feet, 
bundled the sphinx into its velvet resting-place, and gave 
Toppin some, hurried instructions for the afternoon. Top- 
pin was to go on to the Morgue, after busying himself 
about the address, and was to watch the persons who 
might visit that building to view the body. At the 


Morgue he would be rejoined by his colleague. In an- 
other second the inspector was in the street. 

The fact was that from his seat in the cafe he could 
see the entrance to the telegraph-office over the way, and 
that a figure just passing into that establishment had 
caught his attention. The passenger from Scotland Yard 
had recognised the temperance lecturer, Brother Neel. 
It was to "put on his considering cap" that Mr. Byde 
had lingered at the Terminus Hotel; and he was reflect- 
ing, as he now hastened across the road, that what he 
owed to that piece of valuable meerschaum was extra- 
ordinary — was really, the more he thought of it, quite 
undeniable, and most extraordinary. 


Brother Neel, in issuing from the Telegraph Office, 
looked neither to the right nor to the left, but at a quick 
place returned upon his path, directing his steps towards 
a by-street in the immediate vicinity of the Northern 

The building into which he disappeared was one of 
the second or third rate hotels that abound near all the 
large railway-stations of Paris. In plain black characters 
the name Hdtel des Nations extended across the plaster 
facade. Inspector Byde noted the pretentious title, and 
endeavoured to discover the designation of the street; 
He had just spelt out "Rue de Compiegne," from the 
metal tablet on a corner house, when the temperance 
lecturer reappeared in the street, and set off on foot in 
the direction of the Rue Lafayette. 

Descending this long thoroughfare, with a pre-occupied 
and earnest mien which testified to his absorption in the 


humanitarian purposes of the I.O.T.A., Brother Neel 
abated his speed only when he found himself approach- 
ing the rear of the Grand Opera House. He turned off 
to the right-hand, and proceeded for a short distance 
along the Boulevard Haussmann. It was clear that he 
was well acquainted with the particular spot which formed 
the objective of his journey, for, without pausing to re- 
gard any of the numbers, he presently turned into one 
of the entrances with such abruptness that he ran against 
an individual just then passing out. Inspector Byde him- 
self, taken rather unawares, pulled up more brusquely 
than he would have considered creditable in a sub- 
ordinate — Toppin, for instance — had he been playing 
the part of a spectator merely, and not one of the prin- 
cipal personages. He loitered at the uninteresting window 
of a paper-hanger's shop, and while admiring fragmentary 
patterns of impossible flowers, endeavoured to keep an 
eye upon the doorway through which Brother Neel had 
unexpectedly vanished. He waited, and waited; there 
was no sign whatever of Brother Neel. The inspector 
would have liked to examine the premises his friend was 
visiting; but suppose that, at the very moment he reached 
the door, he met him coming out again? That might 
prove slightly awkward for his operations in the future, 
and would be handicapping his chances prematurely. 
There was not much danger, nevertheless, of his being 
identified with the passenger from London who had worn 
the large blue spectacles and had been so heavily muffled 
up. Suppose the building had a double issue, and the 
temperance lecturer had dexterously led him up to one 
side of it in order to leave him there while he very 
promptly walked out at the other? For an instant the 
inspector felt quite nervous. Any such conduct as that 


would imply — no, it could hardly be! — and besides, he 
was quite certain that he had followed his man much 
too cleverly to be detected. And, then, did he not know 
the Hdtel des Nations, in the Rue de Compi&gne? Ah! 
but — how could he say that that address had anything 
to do with Brother Neel? A pretty state of affairs if he 
and Toppin were both, in the same morning, to allow 
their quarry to slip away. 

Inspector Byde moved warily up to the portals of the 
spacious vestibule into which the temperance lecturer had 
plunged. As he glanced along the handsome corridor he 
half-expected to find that it communicated directly with 
another thoroughfare. On the contrary, his gaze was 
arrested at the extremity by the high walls of a court- 
yard, relieved here and there by evergreen shrubs in 
large buckets. Two or three neat zinc plates, bearing 
the names of business firms, confronted the visitor from 
the lintel of the door. Upon one of these he read, " In- 
ternational Organization of Total Abstainers (E. J. Bamber), 
3e etage." 

Capital! Here was he — the great man sent from 
head-quarters on special duty — almost thrown for a 
moment into a condition of panic like the veriest novice, 
and the next moment, like the veriest novice, surprised 
to discover that a simple tale had been the true one. 
Out of sorts a little, perhaps — want of sleep? The in- 
spector looked about him. Nearly opposite stood an 
establishment within which he could perceive both mas- 
culine and feminine heads regarding pleasantly in his 
direction. Their cheeks were tinted with a delicate rose; 
"all day the same their postures were. And they said 
nothing all the day." If the flowing whisker which the 
gentlemen exhibited had in each case the aspect of be- 


longing to someone else, the tresses of the beauteous 
dames who arched their necks so proudly looked as 
though they never could have belonged to anyone in this 
world, into such imposing structures had they been built 
by the expert hands of a Parisian hairdresser. "English 
spoken here." This announcement in gilt letters ap- 
parently aided the inspector to arrive at a decision. He 
made the shortest of detours, traversed the boulevard, 
and strolled into the hairdresser's premises. By instal- 
ling himself in a favourable place, and obstinately re- 
maining in it, he could still command an uninterrupted 
view of the entrance to the offices across the road. 

' When his colleague had excused himself by asserting 
that if he had been thrown off the track that morning it 
must have been done "as quick as lightning," Inspector 
Byde had responded that to have been done as quick as 
lightning it must have been done because the men in 
question saw that they were followed. That implied a 
reflection upon the skill which Detective Toppin brought 
to the performance of his professional duties. It, of 
course, also implied that the men in question had some 
reason for concealing their movements. 

Vine, alias Grainger, and Finch, alias Walker, were 
indubitably indicated by all the appearances of the case. 
Why on earth had he, Byde, planted himself in that 
barber's chair, with his eyes constantly levelled at the 
ground-floor entrance to the offices opposite? It was true 
that under any circumstances he must have been con- 
demned to inaction for the next few hours. The two 
suspicious characters designated in the first place by the 
telegrams from Scotland Yard must be sought for on the 
regular methods, and upon these Mr. Toppin was now 
engaged. The fact was, however, that in the course of 


a long experience the inspector had acquired an almost 
morbid mistrust of the "appearances" of any case which 
presented matter calling for an interposition by the 
"Yard." But there was another reason that guided him. 
He looked steadily across the road at the headquarters 
of the society of whose humanitarian campaign Brother 
Neel was one of the zealous pioneers; and perhaps his 
cogitations took a shape perfectly well known to his com- 
rades of the Yard, and commonly expressed by those 
roguish persons in the simple formula, "He don't like 

He did not like them — no, he "could not cotton to" 
(we are quoting the inspector in his hours of ease) "the 
fellows who dressed themselves up in sham clerical 
clothes, wrote half a dozen initials after their names, and 
called themselves temperance missionaries or teetotal 
preachers!" It was his only bias, but he could not con- 
quer it. When laying down rules of conduct for his son, 
he would occasionally remark, inverting the old rhyme 
that where the prejudice was strong the judgment would 
be usually weak. Unlike a good many people who are 
similarly addicted to the practice of generalization, Mr. 
Byde always applied his dicta to himself, and did not 
merely frame them for the rest of the world. And con- 
sequently he was quite aware that this prejudice against 
an entire order constituted a weak place in his own cha- 
racter. But, although he did his best, he could not 
overcome this odd antipathy. He did not like vain and 
idle folk; and when he was safe at home would scorn- 
fully dilate upon the idleness and vanity of these fellows 
who dressed themselves up in sham clerical clothes — a 
line of denunciation which was by no means justified by 
facts. He did not like these gentlemen, however, and 


once upon a time his dislike of them had led him into 
a dreadful mistake. The blunder was notorious, and the 
organ of the I.O.T.A. in the press had made good capital 
out of it, controversially, ever since. 

The elegant and jewelled young man, pitted with the 
small-pox, who was attending gracefully to the inspector's 
needs, cut his hair very short, trimmed his beard to a 
point, and curled the waxed ends of his moustache sar- 
donically upward. The inspector caught a glimpse in a 
mirror of the metamorphosis thus wrought in him, and 
gazed at his new head with some astonishment and respect. 

"That youthfuls you," observed the artist, noticing his 
look. "If you came to me all the days I would arrange 
you with much taste. You are bettaire like that than 
fofore. The ladies take you like that for cavalry officer. 
In France the ladies like very much officers!" 

Mr. Byde asked whether the customers of the establish- 
ment included any English people. 

Why, yes! great many, from the large hotels close by 
— English people from Canada, America, London — all 
sorts; that was how he learned to speak the language. 

Mr. Byde did not mean travellers. He meant resi- 
dents, people living in the neighbourhood. Perhaps there 
were none living in the neighbourhood? 

Oh, pardon! There was the English gentleman who 
kept the bar just down the street — un bien charmant 
garfon: the best dressed person of all his customers — 
and, tenez! there was Monsieur Bambaire, who resided 
opposite — Monsieur Bambaire, who was the agent of a 
great English society. The artist went to a drawer and 
produced from it a handbill, adding as he passed it to 
his questioner that here was a circulaire of Monsieur 


The inspector gathered from the handbill that the 
large lecture-room, library, and conversation-rooms of 
the I.O.T.A. were now open at the address given below. 
All persons, irrespective of sex or nationality, were eligible 
for membership on payment of the small subscription 
collected in advance quarterly, half-yearly, or annually. 
Lectures three times a week. Conversaziones. Full ad- 
vantages of membership set forth in the prospectuses, to 
be obtained from Brother E. J. Bamber, superintendent 
of Paris branch, Boulevard Haussmann. The site of the 
large lecture-room, library, conversation-rooms, etc., lay 
in the Rue Feydeau. A special appeal to English-speak- 
ing residents in Paris terminated the circular. 

The artist addressed a question in his own turn. 
Monsieur would be able to enlighten him as to the 
nature of this association. He had been enrolled in it 
by Monsieur Bambaire, who had pointed to the lowness 
of the terms, and to the opportunities which would be 
afforded him of making tlje acquaintance of English 
heiresses, the facile prey of any fascinating Parisian. 
He had paid one visit to the new premises in the Rue 
Feydeau, but on that occasion there were no heiresses 
present. Was not the society, however, invested with 
some political character? had it not some secret object, 
either reactionary or revolutionary? He had entered it 
in order not to forfeit the goodwill of Monsieur Bam- 
baire, long a regular client, but of course he had his own 
position to think of, and the political police of Paris kept 
their eyes wide open. Mr. Byde explained the philan- 
thropic purposes of the I.O.T.A., but saw that his ac- 
count of this and kindred bodies in England only ex- 
cited utter incredulity. League yourselves together for 
no other reason than that it suited you to abstain from 


alcohol! — ah, non, par exemple! — trop forte, celle-laf — 
Did he not think, then, that the future of the I.O.T.A. 
was of a particularly promising description so far as 
Paris was concerned? No, he should rather imagine he 
didn't, on such a basis as had been described to him by 
monsieur. He had heard of something of the kind in 
France: a French temperance society whose members 
drank wine freely, but engaged themselves against the 
abuse of alcohol; but total abstention! ah, no — monsieur 
knew very well (and here the artist half-closed his eyes 
and tossed his head repeatedly, with an air of great 
significance) that to assign such a motive as that for the 
foundation of a society, with council, secretaries, agents, 
and all the rest of it, was not treating him seriously, as 
man to man. 

Inspector Byde responded that he could not con- 
jecture what other aim could actuate the society. To 
inform himself more fully upon the subject he would step 
across and seek an interview with Monsieur Bamber. 
When that gentleman made his next call upon the artist 
the latter might repeat their conversation, if he chose; 
Monsieur Bamber would recollect his (the speaker's) visit, 
and might consider that he owed it to the artist's zeal 
and friendly offices. 

On mounting to the third floor of the building oppo- 
site the inspector found the residence of Brother Bamber 
indicated by a small brass-plate, very brightly polished. 
His summons was quickly answered by a female domestic 

"Monsieur Bambaire?" demanded the visitor. 

"Engaged for the moment," returned the domestic 


"I will wait," said the inspector, and he at once 
moved into the ante-chamber. 

"What name shall I announce to monsieur?" 

"Oh, he won't know my name; I am a stranger to him 

"Is it on the business of the Internationl?" 

"Yes, on the business of the International." 

"Monsieur has his card, no doubt?" 

The inspector took a blank card out of his pocket- 
book and wrote upon it in lead-pencil, "Mr. Smithson — 
passing through Paris — ventures to address himself to 
Monsieur Bamber, of the I.O.T.A., for information as to 
progress accomplished by this interesting movement." 
Watching him as he was thus occupied, the smartly-attired 
French maid-servant, whose tone and manner had been 
acidly impertinent, softened at the spectacle of his mili- 
tary moustache, and inhaled quite pleasurably the per- 
fumes with which the inspector had just been inundated. 
She received the card with a coquettish smile, and tripped 
into one of the apartments communicating with the 
vestibule. There was an appreciative expression about 
the inspector's face, as he gazed after her. He had an 
eye for the sex when he was out of his own country. 

Yes, his expression was most thoroughly appreciative. 
His instantaneous processes of induction had already led 
him far. This Brother Bamber ? 

Inspector Byde brought his hand down heavily on the 
arm of the chair. Would he never subdue that mis- 
chievous prejudice? The dreadful blunder he had per- 
petrated — was it to teach him no lesson? Was he fated 
to repeat it, and would he be lured on to a second dis- 
astrous error by some illusively apparent possibility of 
redeeming the first? 


The sprightly French maid returned with the message 
that Monsieur Bamber, being extremely busy, begged to 
be excused just then, but that madame could furnish, 
the visitor with the information he desired, if Monsieur 
Smithson would be good enough to wait for some few 
minutes. Mr. Byde was perfectly willing to wait, he said ; 
and he directed a professional scrutiny at the damsel 
who delivered the message. The report he drew up 
mentally of this young person might have been of a less 
flattering nature than she seemed to suppose. She furtively- 
smoothed her raven locks; and, as she looked upward at 
her interlocutor pressed her chin down tightly against 
her chest in order that her large dark eyes should open 
widely and display their fullest lustre. Mr. Byde thanked 
her, and with a grim smile began to pace up and down 
the ante-chamber. He was familiar with all these feminine 
shows of artlessness. To encounter them in the "vivacious 
French brunette" appealed in a powerful degree to his 
rather cynical sense of humour. 

It was an old friend of his, who had lived a good 
deal on the Continent and in the foreign colonies of 
London, who used to attack so vehemently the consecrated 
phrases, "vivacious French brunette," "the exquisite polite- 
ness of old French marquesses," "typically impassive French 
duellist," "fascination of the Parisian manner," etc. He 
used to say that all those phrases were false, that some 
of them the French themselves would be the last to claim. 
It would have been almost perilous to employ these stereo- 
types, understood to have been as a rule devised by lady 
writers, in conversation with the inspector's old friend on 
his bilious days; and it was assuredly a symptom of in- 
tellectual decline that the ordinary illusions of "piquant 
Parisicnnc? "bright and cheerful French waiting-maicj, 


so willing and so clean," "jolly little French girl — quite 
the grisette, don't you know, out of the Latin Quarter," 
could sometimes deprive him of articulate speech, so mis- 
guided and inane they seemed to him. Of course he 
must have been hypersensitive and ultrabilious. At the 
same time, in such strange ways had his life been cast 
that he knew all about the dessous des cartes, that is to 
say, the "wheels within wheels" of the entire machinery. 
Anyone of the foregoing phrases, harmless as they were, 
would launch him into some anecdote or narrative which, 
commonplace at the commencement, incredible at the 
end, would be drawn from the dark stores of his own 
experience. The inspector had first met his old friend 
years before, amid surroundings which they never re- 
ferred to afterwards, except when alone. He had a 
great respect for his old friend's erudition, by the way. 

The passenger from Scotland Yard suddenly laughed 
outright. He was picturing this "vivacious French 
brunette" imported into the service of an honest middle- 
class English family. She had brushed by him with 
short, quick, studied steps, and with an air of unconscious- 
ness that was delightfully artificial. How pleasant, he 
thought maliciously, she would make herself towards the 
young ladies of the house — how materfamilias would 
extol her prompt obedience! And then a day would 
come — well, well — whoever would have guessed it! The 
interposition of the "Yard" was not demanded always in 
these cases when they happened in England; but mater- 
familias, who had possibly missed one or two of her 
most valuable trinkets as well, would resolve that no 
further importation of the same article should ever take 
place so far as her own household was concerned. The 
u vivacious French brunette," however, who has graduated 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 8 


in the Paris faubourgs, seldom strays into a northern clime 

unless under circumstances independent of her choice. 

People from the northern climes are far more ready to 

travel southwards. The gay Lothario — 

"That haughty, gallant, gay Lothario, 
That dear perfidious! " 

— who graduates at Hoxton or at Cambridge, at Oxford 
or at Rosherville, at Richmond, Houndsditch, or the Hay- 
market, will not infrequently extend his researches to the 
seats of learning endowed in "Parry." But he looks vainly 
for Calista in the faubourgs. He encounters the vivacious 
brunette instead of that tearful penitent, and he probably 
observes that in the faubourien soil the tree of knowledge 
flourishes in the rankest luxuriance. Overweighted by 
his role, and for the occasion resigning it, Lothario per- 
haps reflects with bitterness that the true Calista was a 
much more tolerable person than this make-believe, whose 
boundless lore he never, never would have suspected. 
What! This vivacious French brunette, this piquant 
Parisienne, this bright and willing French waiting-maid, 
this "jolly little French girl, don't you know, quite the 
grisette out of the Latin Quarter," has been passing her 
lifetime under the shadow of a knowledge-tree whose 
giant variety was not even mentioned in the text-books 
of his Alma Mater? Ah, Sir Lothario, yes! If a native- 
born faubourienne, she has learnt many secrets from the 
lush branches of that tree. 

"Mr. Smithson?" 

The speaker was a lady who had advanced from one 
of the apartments into the ante-chamber. She was a 
pale and prematurely-wrinkled blonde, of a gentle and 
sympathetic expression of face. Her violet silk-dress, 
which rustled at every instant, was all awry, as though it 


had been hastily donned for the meeting with the visitor; 
and with it had been assumed a mincing manner and an 
affected pronunciation, both sustained with difficulty, but 
well meant. The inspector, whose business took him 
everywhere, recognised the type of domestic martyr. 

"My husband is unfortunately occupied at the pre- 
sent moment on important business of the society," pursued 
the lady. "If there is any information I can furnish I 
shall be most happy, I am sure. We are all enthusiasts 
in the good work." 

As a well-wisher to the cause, Mr. Byde held forth 
with great fluency on the general question, and followed 
these remarks up with professions of solicitude for the 
prospects of the International. It was a noble movement, 
he observed. 

"A noble movement, indeed," concurred his hostess; 
"but we are still only at the outset of the good work. 
Funds are what we need most urgently, and all our friends' 
should do their best to aid us in rendering our strenuous 
efforts fruitful. Are you a member, sir, of the I.O.T.A.? 
—I do not think we have the name of Smithson on our 
list. The most practical way of helping on the good work 
is by personal membership, and by donations. I could 
enrol you in the society at once. We need no proposers 
and seconders, nor do we care to prosecute inquiries as to 
our new members, preferring to trust to their own assur- 
ances, to rely upon their own representations — for what 
is more demoralising than mistrust? There is a nominal 
entrance-fee, and the subscription is payable in advance." 

Mr. Byde would certainly be proud indeed to link him- 
self to a grand enterprise that might prove the common 
salvation and unification of vast communities, hitherto 

separated sternly from one another by history, by language, 



' and by race. But he must be so well known, he believed, 
at the headquarters of the International in London that 
the directors there would take it ill of him if he entered 
the stream at any other point than at its fountain-head. 
A feeling of the deepest sympathy for the good work, 
together with an ardent wish to form the acquaintance 
of Brother Bamber, whose devotion to the temperance 
cause was famed throughout its ranks, had impelled him 
to venture these inquiries, profiting by a temporary visit 
to the French metropolis. He regretted to have presented 
himself at an inopportune moment; Brother Bamber would 
naturally be absorbed by his regular duties at this par- 
ticular period of the day. 

Oh dear no — not at all ! Mr. Bamber's onerous duties 
engrossed his time all day long, from morning until late, 
very late, at night; but ordinarily he was accessible at 
any hour to well-wishers of the good work. The excep- 
tional occurrence which demanded his attention at the 
present moment was the visit of a colleague from head- 
quarters. One of the most industrious and eloquent 
lecturers of the society had arrived that morning in Paris, 
having travelled from London by the night-mail. He was 
the bearer of instructions and counsel from the board, and 
had of course at once sought an interview with her hus- 
band. If Mr. Smithson could wait a little longer, both 
Brother Neel — the eminent lecturer to whom she had 
referred — and Mr. Bamber would be exceedingly happy 
to receive him. 

The conversation had continued in the drawing-room, 
which opened on to the vestibule. Mr. Byde could hear 
a murmur of voices in the apartment adjoining, and in- 
cidentally remarked upon the fact. The voices were 
perhaps those of Brother Bamber and his colleague? Yes, 


replied his hostess — the adjoining apartment served Mr. 
Bamber as his private office. 

"And what may have been the progress of the last 
three months, should you say?" inquired the inspector 
most engagingly. 

"Much good work has been done by the International in 
Paris during the three months just ended — thanks, I may 
say to my husband's untiring zeal and energy. The 
enrolments show an increase over the previous quarter, 
and they are at length becoming of a decidedly inter- 
national character. We find that we have only to make 
the idea known to ensure recruits. The French are 
always greatly impressed by the novelty of the idea and 
its humanitarian character, as well as by the practical 
methods of the organization. Other bodies of the same 
order have appealed too exclusively to the young. Our 
society recruits its members irrespective of age, and of 
course from amongst all nationalities. We meet with ob- 
stacles, and, singularly enough, they are not raised by 
the general public, or by classes whose vested interests 
might suffer through our success; our annoyances have 
occasionally sprung from the regularly-constituted authori- 
ties, who, it seems, misapprehend the nature of our associa- 
tion in the most extraordinary manner. My husband tells 
me that he has more than once been followed and 
watched by French detectives. We feel certain that there 
are members of both the criminal and political secret 
police who have enrolled themselves among us here! 
Odd, is it not?" 

Mrs. Bamber recited this discourse like a lesson, 
and at its close laughed with a curiously shrill abrupt- 

"There was a friend of mine named Bamber," said 


Inspector Byde tentatively, but with quite a friendly 
warmth; "a very dear friend of mine who came from 
Chicago, and whom I have not seen for two or three years. 
His name was Fitzpatrick Justin Bamber. Would it be 
the same — though I do not think he then had temperance 
leanings? Perhaps it is not my old friend?" 

"Oh, no! Mr. Bamber's initials are 'E.J.' — Egan 
Jewel Bamber. He resided in America for some time, 
but never, I believe, at Chicago." 

"A moment's thought might have convinced me," 
pursued the inspector, more cordially than ever; "of 
course it could not be my old friend. A pleasant look 
out from this window, most pleasant!" 

"Yes, is it not a pleasant look out?" 

"Charming in summer, I should fancy?" 

"Very agreeable in summer." 

"And that, I presume, would be the boulevard below 
— the Boulevard Haussmann?" 

"Yes, that is the boulevard; a pleasant thoroughfare, 
and conveniently situated." 

"My old friend Bamber retired to Rome, I think; 
and that must have been at a date prior to the founda- 
tion of the I.O.T.A., with which, indeed, he could hardly 
have cooperated long. Political societies were the only 
organisations he understood or cared about." 

"Oh, dear me! There is a wide difference between 
anything of that sort and the I.O.T.A." 

"Why, naturally — naturally!" The inspector joined a 
few genial bass-notes to the shrill volley emitted by 
Brother Bamber's better half. He transferred his gaze 
from her false teeth to her glassy eyes, and added, "My 
friend Fitzpatrick Justin was one of America's most 
glorious sons, although he shrank from fame. He led 


the new school of revolutionary heroes and had done a 
great deal of good work with dynamite." 

Mr. Byde reiterated fragments of these two sentences 
as though gratified with their sound. The undisguised 
expression to be seen upon the countenance opposite his 
own was one of alarm at the revolutionary sympathies he 
appeared to express. Whatever might have been his 
views with reference to Brother Bamber, it was clear that 
this worthy dame must be absolved from any complicity 
in secret propaganda such as he seemed to suspect. Poor 
woman ! in the lines of her face he did not read happiness. 
What he read between the lines was meekness and a 
narrow intelligence; the capacity of thinking in a limited 
rotation of ideas, and of learning accurately by rote. 

Inspector Byde was well aware of the advantages 
accruing to conspiracies by the employment of women in 
the more dangerous portions of their work. If the errand 
of the female emissary succeeded, the conspirators exulted 
over their own superior cunning, or, with more modesty, 
reviled the stupidity of their foes; whereas if the superior 
cunning of their foes detected the little mission of their 
female emissary, and obstructed its course ungallantly, 
there remained always the recourse to indignant champion- 
ship of weak women; the other side were cowardly and 
brutal, subjecting delicately-nurtured ladies — mothers de- 
voted to their sons, or, as the case might be, innocent 
young girls who had nursed their brothers on the bed of 
sickness — to outrageous insult. But the physiognomy now 
before him, said Mr. Byde inwardly, altogether vindicated 
the amiable Mrs. Bamber. Vindicated her? Of what? 
Here he stood once more yielding to this terrible bias! 
Why should there exist any co-relation between the Fitz- 
patrick he had invented, and the Egan who sat in the 


next room conferring upon the business of the Inter- 
national? The conference appeared to be over. He 
heard the two colleagues moving towards the door. If 
for the sake of his peace of mind alone, he fervently- 
hoped at that minute, as he regarded his hostess with 
contrition, that the physiognomy of Brother Bamber might 
prove the fitting counterpart of hers. 

The hostess advanced to meet her husband, and con- 
veyed some intimation to him before he crossed the 

"Welcome, dear friend," said Brother Bamber, as he 
approached from the doorway with outstretched hands. 

He was a man of slender build and fair complexion. 
What hair he had was of so light a colour that he might 
have been supposed entirely bald. His eyelashes were of 
the same hue as his hair; and not much deeper in their 
shade were his eyebrows and long silky beard. He wore 
gold-rimmed spectacles; and, as he now smiled, fixedly, 
the gold stoppings of his front teeth gleamed at Inspector 

"An esteemed colleague from London," added Brother 
Bamber, introducing Brother Neel. The latter came for- 
ward with a pompous demeanour and deliberate gait It 
was plain that he had no recollection of the passenger 
from Scotland Yard. Mr. Byde again explained the 
deep interest which, as a consistent upholder of the good 
work during twenty-three years, he felt in its latest devel- 
opment, this courageous enterprise; and then a chorus 
of expletive platitudes ensued. "We were intending to 
step down to the new mission-rooms of the league in the 
Rue Feydeau," concluded Brother Bamber. 

Mr. Byde observed that he should be delighted to 
accompany them. 


"Victorine!" called Brother Bamber. 

The vivacious brunette tripped into the ante-chamber 
in answer to the summons. Her master demanded his 
hat, overcoat, etc., and she furnished him with those 
articles with an air of effusive naivete which perhaps only 
the inspector properly appreciated. A parcels-delivery 
porter presented himself at the appartment just as they 
were ready to leave. Victorine received the package, 
and handed the book to her master to sign with the most 
captivating jauntiness imaginable. Inspector Byde could 
hardly suppress that grim smile of his as he watched her. 
Brother Neel watched her also; and the better half of 
Brother Bamber, as she stood aloof, likewise watched her. 
As for Brother Bamber himself, he did not once direct a 
glance at Victorine. He placed his signature in the book 
in a perfunctory manner, and gave a brief direction 
about the package. It looked like a stout wooden box, 
in shape like nothing so much as an ordinary household 
gas-meter. From the inscription on the red label of the 
European Express, the package seemed to have been 
consigned to Paris from Boston, U. S. 


On their way to the Rue Feydeau, Brother Bamber 
favoured "Mr. Smithson" with a batch of most interesting 
statistics, proving that, soon or late, the crusade of the 
I.O.T.A. must inevitably prevail. The statistics were 
drawn from his own past reports, and from those of his 
colleagues. All they need do was to push the good 
vrcffk boldly forward; adherents would ally themselves 
spontaneously with the cause. His personal experience 
enabled him to attest this as a certainty. Why, even 


the retail wine-dealer, who supplied his household with 
mineral waters, had joined the I.O.T.A.; and the hair- 
dresser opposite his private residence had called upon 
him on Sunday morning just as he was going to chapel, 
and of his own free will had taken out a two years' sub- 
scription, payable in advance. 

Brother Neel supplemented his colleague's figures by 
an array of convincing arguments extracted from the 
professional repertory. As the inspector listened to both 
voices he decided that at any rate Brother Bamber was 
in complete ignorance of the tragic event of that morning. 
Brother Neel excited his admiration while he talked. 
He had good tones, and used them skilfully. The matter 
of his homily might be trite and shallow, but the organ 
was so musically persuasive! And with what a beatific 
serenity he looked, and walked, and waited! To bring 
the case home to a man like this, mused Inspector Byde, 
would atone thrice over for that great mistake. 

Brother Bamber smiled with irritating frequency in 
conversation. Brother Neel never smiled, or scarcely 
ever, but seemed continually upon the point of smiling 
— which perhaps excited in the spectator quite as keen 
an irritation. Of the two heads, that of Brother Neel 
would manifestly the better adorn a public platform or 
the head of a procession. He wore his oiled hair long, 
and without a parting; combed carefully straight back, it 
left exposed to view the whole extent of a forehead which 
the most vulgar would have recognised as noble. His 
dark locks, neatly smoothed behind his ears, and at the 
nape of his neck terminating in a fringe, gave him in 
some unaccountable way the air generic to the fifth-rate 
poet, the tenth-rate tragedian, the twelfth-rate family 
doctor, the foreign pianist, and the professor of leger- 


demain who lets himself out for evening parties.. His 
clean-shaven visage looked blue, and the sturdiness of his 
frame might have fitted him for missionary work among 

"You must find your labours excessively fatiguing," 
remarked the inspector to Brother Neel — "as travelling 
lecturer, I mean. When did you run over from Eng- 

"I arrived this morning only," was the reply; "I came 
by the night-mail from London." 

"The journey not too wearisome?" 

"Oh, I am accustomed to it by this time, and I am 
an excellent traveller, I should tell you, dear friend. 
When we have once made the crossing, I can generally 
sleep through the remainder of the journey." 

"Especially at night, I suppose — like me?" hazarded 
the inspector, geniality itself. 

"Especially at night." 

"Then by the night-mail you would be due in Paris 
by " 

"We arrived at six this morning, or thereabouts." 

The inspector followed these apparently aimless ques- 
tions by some others of no greater seeming importance, 
but perhaps tending remotely towards the same end. 
When he had exercised his ingenuity to his heart's con- 
tent, he was obliged to acknowledge that he remained 
just as wise as at the outset, and no wiser. One test, 
however, yet lay within his reach. It was with a growing 
eagerness that he awaited an opportunity for applying 
that test. 

Brother Bamber showed them all the premises in the 
Rue Feydeau: the meeting-hall, the committee-rooms, 
and the space allotted to recreation, education, and con- 


versation. It was small, he acknowledged, as compared 
with the parent undertakings in England, but as the 
movement expanded, so they could increase the accom- 
modation by the establishment of district-branches. Here 
stood the members' lending library. They had standard 
authors in both languages; works on politics and history; 
a few French novels, and fewer English scientific works; 
and, thanks to the munificence of private donors, a 
perfect storehouse of temperance literature. The French 
novels and the English scientific works were subjected 
to the most rigid scrutiny before being admitted to then- 
shelves. Rooms were specially set aside for chess, 
draughts, and cards, which were permitted on week-days, 
but not for money stakes. 

Brother Bamber wound up an harangue on the glorious 
future of the I. O. T. A. by correcting a well-known 
apothegm. Instead of cheaply pronouncing that " Le 
cUricalisme, voila I'ennemi/' Gambetta should have 
thundered into the ears of his compatriots that the enemy 
to be combated was "alcoholism," or simply alcohol. 
"L' alcohol, voila Vennemi!" — how would that do for then- 
motto here? "Very well indeed," said Mr. Byde. 

A French gentleman, in a threadbare tall hat and 
frayed linen, advanced mincingly towards the three visitors, 
and, with the obeisance which betrays the lively sense 
of favours to come, presented Brother Bamber with an 

"One of our French agents," explained Brother 
Bamber; "a little bill for the outdoor propaganda. That 
gentleman waiting over there is one of his English col- 
leagues charged with the management of our European 

Mr. Byde noticed that in the brief communication 


which the English colleague had to make to Brother 
Bamber, he preferred to employ, or employed unwittingly, 
the Irish dialect of the English language as spoken in 

Their tour of the premises completed, they descended 
into the street As they moved in the direction of the 
Bourse, a hawker ran by them with his arms full of 
freshly-printed newspapers. He was shouting the con- 
tents of the journal, and appeared to be hurrying towards 
the main line of boulevards. Another hawker, folding 
his papers as he hastened along, followed at a little 
distance, and behind him they presently perceived one 
more, likewise calling out the sensational news. 

"The first of the evening papers," remarked Brother 
Bamber. "What is that he is calling? Another murder?" 

"Assassination of an Englishman — mysterious affair!" 
shouted the first hawker. 

"Strange discovery in this morning's mail-train from 
London," called the next, out of breath — "robbery not 
the object of the crime!" 

"The murder of an Englishman this morning," re- 
peated a third — "the police on the track of the assassin!" 

Brother Neel purchased a copy of the newspaper. 

"Robbery not the motive of the crime!" commented 
Brother Bamber. "What then?" 

His colleague spread the paper open, and they halted 
to peruse the latest intelligence. It was not difficult 
to discover the item in question. Lines in large black 
characters announced — " Assassinat (tun Anglais — Un 
drame intime!" 

"Bless me!" exclaimed Brother Neel, after a glance 
at the opening sentences. "That must have been the 
train I travelled in myself." 


"The very train you journeyed by from London!" 
echoed his colleague. "Really, now!" 

"Robbery not the motive of the crime?" repeated 
the supposititious Mr. Smithson. "What do they think, 
then? A secret society at work?" 

Brother Bamber looked over his gold spectacles at 
the speaker. 

"Secret societies among Englishmen?" said he, smil- 
ing fixedly. 

"No," returned Mr. Smithson — "not among them: 
against them." 

"In France?" 

"Perhaps. In France — but not French." 

"Surely you don't mean — you don't mean the old 
revolutionists, the American dynamiters?" 

"Oh, personally, I don't mean anybody, or anything! 
Let us see what the paper says." 

"But the old revolutionists who worked from Paris," 
persisted Brother Bamber, who, with his head erect, was 
regarding the other full through his glasses — "every man 
of them has long been known to the police, and none of 
them could stir without detection, I understood." 

"Indeed? And so they are all known, and watched 
*— the centres, the head-centres, and the rest of the 
veterans here?" 

"That is the general impression in what I may call 
the official British colony, which is the source of my own 
information. And a very necessary precaution — a most 
reassuring state of affairs. In that way they are ab- 
solutely compelled to remain inactive." 

"Of course they are. The veterans can do nothing 
while they are watched by the police; which, from what 
I have heard, accounts for their inaction while their 


younger confederates, who are not in the least known to 
the police, go on with the campaign." 

There was not the faintest tinge of irony in the 
speaker's tone. 

"Why, I had understood that the association was on 
the point of collapse — the association of American dyna- 

"So had I," responded Mr. Smithson, the picture of 
stupidity for the moment 

Brother Neel handed the newspaper to his colleague 
of the LO.T.A. The latter translated the paragraph, 
and read it aloud. After setting forth the circumstances 
of the discovery, the paragraph proceeded as follows: 

"We are enabled to state that the few papers which 
have been found in the possession of the deceased are 
not of a nature to establish his identity. The crime has 
manifestly not been committed for the sake of plunder. 
The pockets contained loose money amounting to a con- 
siderable sum, and the jewellery worn by the deceased 
has been left untouched. Either of the ordinary hypo- 
theses becomes, therefore, at once disposed of, the idea 
of suicide being entirely precluded. Must we seek for 
the clue to this crime in some story of private feud, in 
some family vendetta, some tale of heartless betrayal or 
malignant jealousy? From time to time, indeed, the 
hypocrisy of English social life is brought home to all 
those of us who have suffered ourselves to be imposed 
upon by Pharisaical airs of superior virtue. Scandals of 
incredible magnitude, dragged from time to time into 
the light of day, remind us opportunely that beneath the 
apparent fastidiousness of our starched neighbours we 
way discover a corruption of manners to which the most 
licentious period of ancient Rome affords the only fitting 


parallel. Happily, we French — nous autres Fran^ais — 
are not like our Britannic neighbours. We may possess 
our faults — who can say that he is impeccable? — but our 
candour redeems them. The characteristic of France is 
generosity of thought, word, and 'action; that of England, 
an egotistical hypocrisy. The French are valiant, impul- 
sive, and trusting; the English are calculating, cold, and 
braggart. Ah, pudique Albion — down with the mask! 
Our good police of Paris is already unmuzzled, and we 
may confidently expect a prompt unravelling of this latest 
mystery. One thing we may promise to British society, 
with its pyramid of cannt — this term has been invented 
by. the English themselves, to express their own hypo- 
crisy — we can safely promise that whatever may be the 
tale of scandalous vice connected with the tragedy of 
this morning's mail, the Paris press will be no party to 
its concealment. For our part we shall give the most 
ample details. Our own relations with the Prefecture of 
Police have been too often turned to the advantage of 
our readers for any doubt whatever to exist as to our 
ability to place before the public any matters which may 
come to the knowledge of the authorities. We shall keep 
our readers closely informed of every development in 
this mysterious affair. The sources of information at our 
own disposal, independently of the Prefecture, are both 
varied and trustworthy. We will not say that we are not, 
even at this early juncture, in the possession of facts 
that might in a material degree influence the conduct of 
the inquiry. But to the police, who profess to have dis- 
covered something in the nature of an indication, we will 
do no more than offer the proverbial, but eternally true, 
counsel, e Cherchez la femmel* The body has been 
transported to the Morgue for identification." 


"My train seems to have been selected by criminals," 
observed Brother Neel. "We had an arrest at Dover — a 
sensational diamond robbery case, we were told." 

"If you could recognise the deceased as a fellow- 
traveller," said Mr. Smithson, "it might be possible for 
you to help the authorities here in the matter of identi- 

"I do not think there could have been anybody in the 

train who was personally known to me," replied the other. 

"We might make a visit to the Morgue, if it is not 

too far from here," continued Mr. Smithson; "we might 

just look in and see the body." 

"A somewhat ghastly spectacle," objected Brother 

"People connected with the police are so peculiar," 
went on Mr. Smithson, "that if it were ascertained that 
our dear friend here had travelled by this very train, 
and in such a case as this had shown no curiosity as to 
the person murdered — a person whom he might possibly 
have noticed in conversation with suspicious individuals 
—they might subject our dear friend to all kinds of in- 

"That is true," said Brother Neel — "and, for the 
sake of the I.O.T.A., anything of that kind must be care- 
fully avoided. If the deceased should be some one 
whom I happened to notice in the society of other per- 
sons there will be no harm in my volunteering the state- 
ment to the authorities. My evidence might prove useful 
in the future — who knows? — in corroboration of other 
testimony. And if the deceased should be some passenger 
whom I am certain I have never seen, why then there 
would be no reason for my coming forward. I should 
say nothing whatever about my presence in the mail- 

Passenger from Scotland Yard % 9 


train, and there, so far as I am concerned, the matter 
would terminate." 

"As you like," acquiesced his colleague. 

They bent their steps in the direction of Notre Dame. 
Traversing one of the bridges, they arrived on the is- 
land which at this point divides the Seine. In a few 
minutes they were at the towers of Notre Dame. 

Passing to the rear of the cathedral, and skirting the 
little gardens which there lie, the inspector and his com- 
panions saw that groups of idlers had already congregated 
in front of the Morgue. Persons were also approaching 
from the bridges on both sides, and others were ascend- 
ing the two or three steps at the entrance to the build- 
ing. Visitors who had satisfied their curiosity lounged 
through the doorway, and down the steps, and augmented 
the knots of debaters scattered along the pavement. Some 
of the women and children were cracking nuts and eat- 
ing sweetmeats, purchased from itinerant vendors who 
had stationed their barrows at the side of the road. One 
hawker was endeavouring to sell bootlaces; another was 
enumerating the titles of the comic songs which he ex- 
hibited in cheap leaflets, strung together on a wooden 

"And so this is the Morgue!" exclaimed Mr. Smithson, 
gaping at the long, plain structure opposite the gardens. 

Anyone would have affirmed most positively that Mr. 
Smithson had never visited the spot before. As they 
mounted the stone steps, Brother Neel stopped short, and 
Mr. Smithson, who had followed close upon his heels, 
stumbled against him. He turned back for an instant, 
but only to make a small purchase at one of the barrows. 

The air, the aspect, the associations of the sinister 
place might have affected momentarily the stoutest heart. 


It was not that the atmosphere could have been con- 
demned by any sanitary inspector; nor that the naked 
walls, with curt official notices to the public painted in 
plain capitals here and there, recalled the infected 
charnel house, or frightful images of corruption which at 
some time or another we have most of us received into 
our minds, and which we carry about with us buried to 
the utmost depth, out of view and apparently forgotten, 
but capable of brusquely rising from their dark recess 
under a single lurid ray. It was not that the living who 
were issuing from these portals had drawn into their 
lungs unconsciously the icy, stagnant air poisoned by the 
dead. The Morgue was a peep-show, not a reception- 

The groups now issuing from its portals had been 
staring through beautiful panes of plate-glass. A hand- 
rail hindered them from approaching near enough to 
dim the crystal with their breath, to flatten their noses at 
its surface, or to shatter the entire frame in their ingenuous 
eagerness to feast their eyes upon the corpses. To hinder 
the ladies and gentlemen who flocked hither on a "good" 
day from scratching their names, or Scriptural texts, or 
possibly a humorous — even a ribald — couplet upon the 
windows of the Morgue, a safeguard more effectual was 
at hand. Officers of the establishment kept a keen watch 
on the company, an excellent precaution for more reasons 
than one. And where stood these officers? Oh, who 
could say? That was the dress — the semi-livery worn 
by the old campaigner yonder who was certainly just 
now chewing tobacco. There were others who wore no 
livery of any kind, and who on "good" days would get 
into conversation with likely strangers. Were these really 
dead persons! they would perhaps ask — these figures ex- 



tended upon sloping couches, and to all appearance gaz- 
ing intelligently at the spectator — were they actually dead 
human beings, or imitations of the same, in wax? The 
murderer who has swaggered into the presence of his 
victim, out of bravado, or whom the fascination of his 
crime attracts and rivets to this spot, must, like his ac- 
complice who has mingled with the crowd for purposes 
of information, beware of such lynx-eyed, casual neigh- 
bours, with their simple questions and their homely garb. 
No; if the air on this side of the enormous glass 
panes could be condemned by any sanitary inspector, its 
noxious germs must have been given forth by the living 
who thus thronged the temporary habitation of the dead. 
Men, women, and children pushed forward indiscrimi- 
nately to the gre,at peep-show. You could see the bodies 
here for nothing, whilst at the waxworks in the fairs 
there were always a few sous to pay at the doors, to say 
nothing of the extras for the models of anatomical 
curiosities, and the catalogue; there might be a good 
many more varieties of death exhibited in the waxworks 
at the fairs, but the figures were not, as a rule, well 
finished off like these, and that one over there had just 
been brought in — murdered only that morning, and the 
assassin had escaped. He was a foreigner, the paper 
said — a German. Non, madame, pardon — an English- 
man! Well, was it not the same thing — English — 
German — was not all that just the same? Not at all, 
madame, if you will permit me — two quite different 
peoples. I don't say that the Americans and the Ger- 
mans might not be near together, but the Germans and 
the English belong to different countries, although the 
English can speak American. Well — English, American, 
German — all that was the same thing so far as the French 


were concerned. Why could they not stay in their own 
countries? They all hated France. Ah non, madame, je 

vous demande pardon — in matters of that sort "In 

matters of that sort!" Was it not well known that every 
one of these foreign countries hated France because 
France had conquered them all in the past, and they 
were afraid that she would get strong enough to conquer 
them all again? And for that reason they sent spies into 
France.- There were some people about who professed 
to know everything, and always wanted to correct the 
rest of the world. She was only a poor widow who sup- 
ported herself, an invalid sister, and two children, by 
hard work; but she had not seen the coup d'etat, the fall 
of the empire, the siege, and the Commune without be- 
coming qualified to say something about politics — tiens! 
That might be very true, madame, but all the same the 
body over there which they would perceive presently, 
when their turns came, was that of an Englishman. "I 
want to see the body of the Englishman who was 
murdered! Take me up, papa! I want to see," etc. 
"Yes, yes, yes, papa will show to his little Louis the 
body of the," etc. "No, I want to see it now! I will 
see it now ! That gentleman is treading on me, they are 
crushing my new hat! No, I don't want any more cakes: 
1 want to see the body of the Englishman who was 
murdered ! Take me up and show me," etc., etc. 

Housekeepers returning from market, with their baskets 
of provisions on their arms; nursemaids dragging their 
little charges along by the hand after them; work-girls 
chattering to be overheard, and giggling with the superan- 
nuated coureurs who had remarked them in the next 
street but one, or who had been struck by their piquant 
carriage as they flirted through the garden opposite — 


"Est-elle gentille!" "He — la blondinette ! " — a sprinkling 
of blue blouses; bank messengers; a priest or two; bar- 
risters from the law courts hard by; an occasional appari- 
tion in fur, lace, and velvet, of which the masculine sense 
retained a vague impression of the thick veil, a hat, and a 
muff, together with the faintest odour of white rose: to 
this restless and changing throng came Brothers Neel 
and Bamber, accompanied by "Mr. Smithson." Brother 
Neel had stopped a second time; but merely to glance 
over the frames of photographs nailed against the wall. 
Of that ghastly collection the originals had tenanted the 
Morgue, nameless; and nameless they had been lifted 
from their couches, on the other side of the plate-glass 
windows, when . . . 

It was surely most improbable that Brother Neel could 
have known the originals of any portraits exhibited within 
these precincts. They were all neatly numbered, and 
they thus awaited, with the last look which death im- 
printed upon their faces, either the chance recognition of 
some passer-by, or their ultimate consignment to complete 
oblivion. Poor, disfigured features, durable enough on 
the photographer's film of paper, but too transitory in the 
mould which nature gave them: who could say what 
tragic story they had not provoked or witnessed — who 
could divine the occasion of that cast of terror, the 
humour of this lingering smile, the anger of that lower- 
ing brow, the secret of those disconcerting, sightless orbs? 
Several of the heads bore wounds that had been strapped 
up after death — merciless gashes, some of them; others, 
swollen and bloated, wore the sullen, almost animal, look 
to be observed among the drowned whose bodies have 
lain long immersed; a few revealed the sharp contrac- 
tions of despair and anguish marking the victim who, in 


the French phrase, "sees himself die," and rebels against 
his fate. 



The public are invited to make a declaration of the 
name of any individual whom they may recognise, to the 
Registrar's office, at the Morgue. 

This declaration involves no expense either to 
strangers or to friends and relatives of the deceased. 
Elle est toute gratuite. 

Inspector Byde loitered behind with Brother Neel. 
While they both paused, a gentleman in later middle life 
mounted the steps from the street and moved uncon- 
cernedly into the building. The new-comer was attired 
almost as scrupulously as an old beau, but there was 
something about his physiognomy which might have been 
considered less typical of the old beau than of his coach- 
man. He had a pear-shaped red face, with a short 
white whisker at each side. He gave you the impression 
at first sight of being uncomfortably hot; but you were 
soon led to the conclusion that the glow which overspread 
his countenance would be more properly attributable to 
the generous vintage produced by the sun, soil, and 
science of Oporto. Quite a small nosegay of winter 
flowers adorned the button-hole of his stylish overcoat; 
and his new kid gloves were bright enough to be re- 
flected in his polished hat. No one would have imagined 
that his night's rest had been interrupted; although we 
know that at six o'clock, a.m., he attended at the Gare 
du Nord to meet the mail from London. It was grandpa. 

Brother Neel saw no faces he could recognise, that 


was clear. It was Inspector Byde who recognised one of 
the faces that he saw. 

The recognition, indeed, was mutual. Grandpa nodded 
to Inspector Byde with an air of pleased surprise, and 
the inspector nodded back. Their salutations took place 
unperceived by the two colleagues in the service of 
the I.O.T.A. Brothers Neel and Bamber had penetrated 
into the crowd, and Mr. "Smithson" immediately rejoined 
them. There was another person whom grandpa re- 
cognised, but to whom nevertheless he sent no salute, 
a figure posted near a recess, away from the mass of 
spectators, and devoting a good deal more attention to 
the latter themselves than to the object of their curiosity. 
It was the manly form of Mr. Toppin, who, stationed like 
a sentinel, resolved to "bid any man stand in the prince's 
name," no doubt fancied he was acquitting himself of 
his duty with no less discretion than zeal. Mr. "Smithson" 
possibly dreaded at that moment an untimely greeting 
from his vigilant subordinate. 

Edging their way through the rows of gossiping 
spectators, the three companions at length caught a 
glimpse of the "Englishman who was murdered." A 
minute more and they were face to face with the corpse. 
The detective had watched his neighbour, Brother Neel, 
most narrowly, and by placing himself a little in his rear, 
contrived to maintain his scrutiny unobserved. Brother 
Neel betrayed the sensibility, transient but perfectly un- 
dissembled, which under the circumstances would be 
altogether natural. The communicative Mr. Remington 
lay before him. At not much more than arm's length he 
saw, supported by the sloping couch, on the other side 
of the plate-glass window, his fellow-passenger of the 
previous night — the obliging narrator of the Wilmot case, 


the sceptic in young Mr. Sinclair's innocence — dead. The 
life-like appearance of the body might well have startled 
him, as it startled persons who had never until now set 
eyes on the deceased. Beyond, apparently, the shock of 
noting the few signs which had been described concisely 
by the inspector in his report that morning to Scotland 
Yard, Brother Neel evinced no species of emotion. A 
consumptive lady, borne down by ponderous gold earrings, 
remarked to her daughter on the dim expression of 
astonishment and alarm which the features still retained; 
would not anybody say that the deceased, as he reposed 
upon his couch, was about to open his lips and call for 
help? The daughter — a dark-eyed maid, with a woman's 
torso but an infant's face — read inquiry, also, she com- 
mented, in the blue and bloodshot eyes of the deceased. 
Sometimes the dead bodies at the Morgue, continued 
mademoiselle, had a look of meditation, or an air of 
listening; this one seemed as though he were searching 
for some one in the crowd, or as if he meant to question 
them, if they would wait. 

"Do you think that the assassin could come here, 
and stand in front of this, unmoved?" asked the young 
lady, who appeared to interest herself in criminal exploits 
and physical decay. 

"I can't imagine how he could," replied her mother. 
"/ couldn't." 

"I dare say he might, though, all the same," con- 
tinued the daughter. "It seems to me that if I had 
courage enough to commit a murder, I should not in the 
least mind seeing the body afterwards. You know they 
are dead: what does it matter?" 

"Ah, but the guilty quail before their lifeless victims; 


that is well known," responded the elder lady, glancing 
round for corroboration. 

"Not necessarily, madame," put in a neighbour, who 
forthwith enforced his view of the matter by citations 
from the popular records of criminal jurisprudence. 

"A profitable discussion, truly !" sneered Brother 
Bamber to his colleague. 

"Well, my dear friend, I agree rather with the elder 
lady," said Brother Neel. "I believe in the resonant 
and mighty voice of truth. Were the assassin, now, of 
this unfortunate man at present here, gazing or about to 
gaze upon the victim of this impious deed, I think his 
conscience must betray him." He, too, cast a glance 
around him as he concluded. It seemed as though he 
half-expected to encounter some such mute avowal of 
guilt. The regard which met his own was that of In- 
spector Byde. 

"Do you identify the dead man?" asked Mr. Smithson. 

"No," replied Brother Neel. 

"You have no recollection of his face at all? I should 
fancy it would help on the authorities materially if some- 
one could identify this person. You do not remember 
observing him among your fellow-passengers?" 

"I have no recollection of ever having seen that man." 

"Then we need not remain here any longer," sug- 
gested Brother Bamber, less at ease in the crowd than in 
the offices of the I.O.T.A. They turned to depart. The 
inspector told his two companions that he would join 
them presently outside the Morgue. He wished, no 
doubt, to exchange a word with the praiseworthy Mr. 
Toppin; and grandpa was hovering persistently in his 
neighbourhood, remarked Mr. Byde. 

But he had a different reason for remaining in his 


place a moment more. Two female figures, advancing 
through the crowd with difficulty, and manifestly shrink- 
ing from the contact of this mixed assemblage, had 
caught his attention as they made their way towards the 
window. It was easy to distinguish them as English 
ladies. They were both veiled. The toilette of the elder, 
rich but in good taste, had a decidedly Parisian stamp. 
The appearance of the younger lady, who was attired in 
a semi-travelling costume, was more characteristically 
English. Mr. Byde noted that the younger of the two 
leaned upon her companion for support. As they ap- 
proached the window, he stationed himself behind them. 

"I dare not look, — I dare not — oh, I dare not!" 
murmured the younger lady, in agitated accents. "If it 
should be " > 

"My dear child, — come — come! There, — I told you 
these fears were groundless." 

"Heavens! — what can it mean?" The young lady 
raised her veil, and, as the colour came back to her 
cheeks, gazed with astonishment at the lineaments of the 
dead man. 

"Why, — do you recognise him?" 

"Yes, — oh yes! What can have happened? — oh, — 
let us go from this horrible place!" 

Mr. Inspector Byde signalled to his colleague, Toppin. 


In the course of the evening Mr. Toppin presented 
himself at his colleague's hotel. He had been not a 
little astonished at the arrival of the inspector at the 
Morgue in company with two clerically-attired gentlemen, 
with whom he appeared to be on easy terms. To observe 


the inspector salute a third acquaintance, in the shape of 
an elderly party who looked like a real old swell, rather 
"horsey" in his style, perhaps — a Jockey Club Croesus, 
no doubt: English race-horse owner established in France: 
too solidly British, or not quite over-dressy enough, to be 
a vecomte, or a marky, or a dook — had added to his 
astonishment. Anybody would have imagined that this 
Byde was lounging about his own metropolis, which lay 
upon the other side of the English Channel! 

Detective Toppin was directed upstairs to a private 
sitting-room retained by the inspector. He found the 
latter seated in an armchair at the mahogany table, and 
busily engaged with inkstand, blotting-pad, pen, and 

"Don't wind up your report until you have heard 
what I have done," said Toppin, in good spirits. 

"All right," replied the other; "I was waiting for 

Toppin approached the table, and perceived that 
what engrossed the attention of his esteemed superior 
was something apparently quite different from a report to 
"the Yard." Mr. Byde had covered pages of his note- 
paper with propositions 9, 10 and 11. He had bisected 
a given rectilineal angle; he had bisected a given finite 
straight line; and he had drawn a straight line at right 
angles to a given straight line from a given point in the 
same. He was just killing time, don't you see — he ex- 
plained to his subordinate. 

"We shall have them to-morrow or the next day," 
announced Mr. Toppin, "as safe as houses!" 

"We shall have them to-morrow or the next day, 
shall we?" answered the inspector cheerily. "That's all 
right, then." He put down his pen, and, as he closed 


the small volume at his left hand, murmured, "Where- 
fore two straight lines cannot have a common segment." 

"To begin with, here is a fac-simile of the morsel of 
paper found on the floor of the compartment." 

The inspector took the slip of paper proffered him, 
and read upon it, "Adelaide, X. Y.," with an address, 
"to be left till called for," at a post-office in Knights- 
bridge. "Did you wire to the Yard?" he asked. 

"I wired at once to have the post-office watched. 
Parties applying for anything addressed to* Adelaide, X.Y./ 
were to be followed." 


"And — in case they should overlook it — that a hint 
to the postmaster might be advisable. For all we know, 
a letter might never be claimed, and yet might disappear. 
For all we know, a post-office clerk may be in this." 


"I'd lay ten to one it's a confederate in the original 
robbery — a man!" 

"I should not be surprised if it's a woman," remarked 
the inspector. 

"Well, whatever they may think proper to do at the 
Yard, I know what / should do. Fd have application 
made, by a plain-clothes man, for anything to that address; 
and Fd have it opened, whatever it was!" 


"That is what would be done here, as a matter of 

"I have a good mind to return to-morrow," observed 
the inspector jocosely. "What could be clearer than the 
case, as it now stands, at this end? The two suspicious 
characters who travelled by the same train as the de» 
ceased, who hastened away immediately the train arrived 


at its destination, and who obviously applied themselves 
to elude pursuit, are safe to be pounced on by the French 
police to-morrow or the next day, wherever they may be 
hiding. It's not much use for me to stay here. You can 
act with the French authorities and get credit for the 
capture, at the Yard — which you deserve, friend Toppin." 

"Oh, but " exclaimed Toppin eagerly, "this is 

your case!" 

"If you can finish it off, it shall be yours." 

"Mr. Byde, sir, it's a real privilege to work with a 
colleague like yourself. If others at the Yard that I 
could name would only show the same consideration for 
the younger men, and those who've never had their 
chance, things would go on much better, sir, all round. 
We should all work together, sir, more harmoniously, and 
the public interests would greatly benefit, and the Yard 
would find that it possessed the confidence of the entire 
community in a fuller degree. Young and talented mem- 
bers of the force would see that their abilities were to be 
allowed free play, instead of feeling that their best efforts 
only profited their superiors. I am a young member of 
the force myself, sir, and I think I may say, without any 
boasting, that with the opportunity I could prove that I 
am not one of the least able. I feel confident of my 
capacity to conduct the present case to a speedy and 
satisfactory termination, and should I be so fortunate as 
to receive your commendation, I know that it would carry 
great weight with the Department Mr. Byde, sir, I am 
deeply sensible of your kindness." 

"All right, Toppin, all right. But is it so sure that 
we shall have these men to-morrow or the next day?" 

"How can they get clear, with myself and the French 


police after them? Wherever they go in this country they 
are conspicuous as foreigners. If they leave Paris for the 
provinces they can be traced with comparative facility, 
and can be stopped by telegraph. Their only chance is 
to keep inside Paris. Now what means of concealment 
are available to them inside Paris? They are hidden in 
the residence of an accomplice, we will say. Then every 
morning and every evening the newspapers render it more 
and more hazardous for the accomplice himself to keep 
any parties of the nationality specified in the public press 
hidden away upon his premises, or in any manner appa- 
rently avoiding observation. As a party to the crime, he 
will very soon have had enough of it, and will either 
hand them over, to get out of it, or leave them to them- 
selves. The concierge, the servants, or the neighbours — 
there is always someone here to start the gossip — notice 
that the new arrivals do not leave the house, or leave it, 
well say, only in the evening. They wonder why, and 
even if no crime has been publicly announced, they are 
more likely than not to regard these new arrivals with 
suspicion. If, on the other hand, these parties should 
decide to go in and out of the house quite freely, in 
order to save appearances, they are continually running 
the risk of identification by some person or persons who 
travelled with them between London and Paris. Suppose 
they disguise themselves: they are still foreigners, not 
natives of the country; and they might be followed — -files 
—on 'spec/ at any minute. Anybody may be in the pay 
of the police here — the cabman, the vendor of a news- 
paper, the postman, the concierge — who knows? They are 
not all stupid; and they are all officious and inquisitive. 
Suppose, however, that they put up, like ordinary visi- 
tors, at an hotel — a small private establishment, or one, 


of the largest and most fashionable. Suppose that no 
suspicions arise in the hotel itself with regard to the 
coincidence of their arrival and the date of the crime. 
Every hotel, lodging-house, and boarding-house, having to 
furnish a police return of the persons arriving at their 
premises for even a single night, the returns do usually 
afford the police some sort of indication. The kind of 
handwriting, whether disguised or not — the kind of names 
chosen by parties who enter themselves falsely — the 
people at the Caserne de la Cit£ (our Scotland Yard, you 
may say) can of course turn all these things to account, 
especially in a case like this, with me to help them. 
But, there! — I am telling you what you know already. 
And you are not the man, Mr. Inspector, whom your own 
false entry on- your own hotel-sheet would have misled, 
if you had been looking for yourself!" 

"Well done," said Mr. Toppin's colleague, with a 
smile. "When do the returns for the day get into the 
hands of the police?" 

"The next morning, as a rule. I have been to the 
Caserne de la Cit£, and by to-morrow, all the hotel re- 
turns ought to have been examined and the questionable 
cases noted. The premises queried can be visited at the 
first convenient moment. Now, as strangers here, these 
two men are most likely together in some out-of-the-way 
hotel, under assumed names, and with false addresses. I 
should expect them to have described themselves as 
Americans. They tell me at the Caserne de la Cite* that 
the bullet which caused the death has not yet come into 
their possession; but if a revolver or a pistol should be 
discovered at the premises tenanted by the two men it 
will of course be something, even though the bullet 
should never be found." 


"And now — with regard to the two ladies I indicated 
to you, at the Morgue?" 

"With regard to the two ladies," continued Mr. Top- 
pin, "this is what I have ascertained. The elder is a 
Mrs. Bertram, who resides in the Avenue Marceau; the 
other is a Miss Knollys. On quitting the Morgue they 
walked along the Quai de FArchev£ch£, until they came 
to a cab which seemed to be in waiting for them. They 
stepped into the vehicle and gave a direction to the 
driver. I took another cab and followed them. The 
driver pulled up at a telegraph-office, and both ladies 
alighted. I went into the office a moment after them, 
and saw that they were filling up a telegraph form. The 
younger lady was writing the message, but was consulting 
the other about every word of it, I should say. I went 
to the same desk for a telegraph-form and a pen, and 
was able to glance at their message. I had no time to 
read the contents nor to secure the precise address, but 
the place to which it was to be despatched was London, 
and the name of the person to whom it was being sent 
was— Sinclair." 


"Yes." The inspector gathered up his diagrams and 
put them on one side, under the small volume of the 
"Elements." His colleague added, after a pause — "Yes, 
I was astonished myself!" 

"Someone who expected him by the night-mail, has 
not heard of his arrest, has been alarmed by the story of 
an Englishman found murdered, on the arrival of the 
train here, and has attended at the Morgue, in the fear 
that the dead man might be Sinclair," summed up In- 
spector Byde. "Someone who knew the deceased also, 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, IO 


but did not expect him. What have you learned about 
this Miss Knollys?" 

"She is a visitor, staying with Mrs. Bertram. She 
arrived quite recently from England. Mrs. Bertram is a 
widow, the concierge told me. She lives in good style, 
and from what I can make out, possesses a considerable 
fortune. While they remained in the telegraph-office, 
Miss Knollys appeared extremely agitated; the other 
seemed to be consoling her, but did not show any emo- 
tion herself. From the office, they drove to the Avenue 
Marceau, and it was then that I gleaned the particulars 
I have related to you." 

"Would it be possible, through the concierge, to see 
all the post-marks of the correspondence this young lady 

"Possible!" Toppin drew his hands out of his pockets, 
and spun a twenty-franc gold piece upon the table. "We 
can even procure a little delay in the delivery — and 
something more, still. It depends upon how many of 
these we can set spinning at the same time!" 

"Well, then, see to that. Before my arrival at the 
Morgue, did you notice anyone else of English nationality?" 

"A cartful of tourists came, led by a guide. There 
was nothing about the behaviour of any of them that 
attracted my attention. You arrived soon afterwards, 
with the two clerical-looking gentlemen." Toppin evi- 
dently wished for a hint on the subject of Inspector 
Byde's companions. The inspector did not gratify his 
wish, however. A minute later, a knock was heard at 
the door. ' In answer to the inspector's demand, the 
handle was turned, and the door was discreetly opened. 

"An inopportune moment, perhaps?" inquired a voice 



Toppin twisted his chair round, and faced the visitor, 
as the latter politely comprehended him in his salute. It 
was the elderly party who had nodded to his colleague 
at the Morgue — the real old swell, "a little horsey in the 
cut of his figure-head," thought Toppin. 

"Not at all, not at all!" responded their host, rising. 
"We are old acquaintances," he explained to his sub- 
ordinate. "Haven't met for years. Came across each 
other by chance this afternoon, and just had time to ask 
my old friend to step up and see me." 

Toppin listened with a deferential bearing. 

"But if I disturb you " pursued the new-comer. 

"By no means!" exclaimed the inspector; "on the 
contrary — we were just talking over my return to London. 
If you had deferred your visit, we might have lost the 
opportunity of discussing those private matters in which 
we are both interested. Besides, I suggested this even- 
ing, if you remember. And so the family are in good 
health? — Yes, yes — quite so — the family are in good 
health " 

Toppin understood that he was not wanted. All the 
better if his chief had other occupations while he stayed. 
It would leave his own hands for a larger share of the 
work on which they were engaged together. He made 
an appointment for the following day, and took his leave. 

"Well, Byers," said the inspector, as soon as he found 
himself alone with the elderly party whom Toppin had 
connected with wealth and fashion. "You and I know 
each other, of course, but I did not suppose that you 
and my friend might be acquainted?" 

"Never had the pleasure of meeting the gentleman," 

replied Mr. Byers, seated in the chair which Toppin had 



just vacated. He held his polished hat in his left hand, 
and with the other was gently balancing a slender silk 
umbrella that seemed hardly heavier than a lady's fan. 

"A young friend of mine, and a fellow after your own 
heart; but there's no reason why we should tell him our 
little secrets." 

"That's like you, Mr. Byde — always considerate for 
others; always considerate, when it doesn't interfere with 
your duty. Not that I have any secrets to tell, but I can 
always listen to the secrets of other people, without going 
to sleep — and keep them." 

"Or sell them, hey, Benny?— Ha! ha! ha!" 

"Ah, no! — Those days are gone." 

"Now — what shall I order?" The inspector prepared 
to ring. 

"Oh, nothing for me! — nothing whatever, I pray." 

"Renounced it?" 

"Not altogether; but I'm thinking of doing so. The 
evils resulting from the consumption of intoxicating 
beverages are patent to the merest observer. Alcohol is 
the scourge of modern society, and it behoves us all to 
set the right example. There is an excellent society 
here which I shall doubtless join one of these days for 
the sake of its laudable purposes — an English movement 
— the International Organization of Total Abstainers. 
You must be aware of its existence, by the way. If I 
mistake not, one of your companions this afternoon was 
the active and single-hearted president of the Paris branch, 
Brother Bamber?" 

"Ah! you know friend Bamber?" 

"In the very slightest way." 

"Charming fellow, is he not?" 

"A worthy, dear, good man. And so your young 


friend who was here just now has run over with you for 
a day or two?" 

"Oh dear no!" said Mr. Byde. "He's established 
here in business." 

"Like myself, then!" 

"More or less, I dare say. What may be your line 
of business, Benjamin!" 

"Insurance — yes, old friend, the insurance business; 
and pleased you will be to hear, I think, that I am 
prospering exceedingly. I have my office in the Rue 
des Petits Champs — quite a business quarter — and none 
but the most respectable firms are among my clients." 

"Some of my colleagues would be interested to hear 
that, Benjamin — though they won't hear it from me. We 
thought you went out to Australia; and I dare say that 
by this time some of them at the Yard think you are 
dead. Personally, I fancied that New York was more 
like it; and I never expected to tumble across my old 
chum Byers — Ben Byers — in the Morgue at Paris." 

"You all used to love me at the Yard, didn't you?" 

"We admired your talents, Benjamin. You have 
given us more trouble at the Yard, I should say, than 
any other single individual of your time. And all for 
nothing! It's past and gone now, and we can talk it 
over without feeling. We never got well hold of you, 
but I can tell you that we meant having you some day 
or other." 

"I knew you meant having me," said Mr. Byers 
complacently. "But there was only one man of the whole 
lot clever enough to put me away, and that was Byde." 

"Come, that won't do to-day, Byers," protested the 
other with a laugh. "What a character he is, my old 
chum, Benjamin! There's not the smallest need for it, 


but habit's too strong for him! Can't help soft-soaping 
you, although there's nothing to be got by it Pearson 
was a better man than I, and so was Baird. And there 
are still Fullerton and Pilch who know more than I do 
at the game." 

"Fullerton! The man who muffed that forgery case! 
I read about it in the newspapers. And as for Pilch, I 
remember him well enough at the Yard. There's nobody 
can teach Pilch his business in any department of it, 
that I will say; but he's not in it with you, Byde — and 
for this reason. Pilch is an obstinate man. Now, in 
your line of business, obstinacy doesn't do. If Pilch 
takes up an idea, he wants to bring everything round to 
it; and that affects his judgment. He wants to pick and 
choose his facts to suit himself if he once takes up an 
idea, whereas your mode of going to work is never 
shaped by any preconceived idea, obstinately adhered to. 
/ know that, the way you persecuted me in days gone 
by! No, no; I don't say it to flatter you — what motive 
could I have for flattering you? — but you are the man I 
fancy, Mr. Byde; that is to say, the man I should not 
like if / were a criminal to have upon my track. You 
have no prejudices." 

"Yes, I have," returned Mr. Byde slowly; "I have a 
prejudice, and I know it. I have a prejudice which got 
me into trouble once, and will again some day, if I don't 
look out." 

"Ah, that temperance case," responded the visitor 
after a pause. "Well, as I said, I am not here to flatter 
you; and certainly you came down over that!" His tone 
enhanced the bluntness, real or assumed, of his words; 
and he added, "You don't seem to bear the brethren 
any malice, though?" 


"How? What do you mean?" 

"Beware of Brother Bamber!" Mr. Byers said this 
jocularly. "He is a great hand at conversions." 

"If they convert you, Benjamin, they ought to show 
you on their platforms, like their converted members of 
Parliament and chimney-sweeps." 

"I made the acquaintance of your other companion 
this afternoon — the lecturer from London, Brother Neel. 
You had been gone some time when I called at the 
Boulevard Haussmann. It was about insurance business 
that I had placed myself in communication with Brother 
Bamber, and I resolved to look in this afternoon for a 
personal introduction. He presented me to his esteemed 
colleague — a man of great eloquence, it seems, and zeal." 

"You did not refer to me as connected with the 
Yard, I hope?" demanded the inspector seriously. 

"Well, hardly," said Mr. Byers, with a bland smile; 
"I supposed you were on business, and I refrained from 
mentioning you at all, though I should scarcely imagine 
that you are likely to disturb our dear friends of the 
LO.T.A. And yet if you could wipe that case out, as an 
old chum of yours and a warm admirer, Byde, / should 
be glad for one. I believe in the temperance cause, 
whether I practise it myself or not; but there are black 
sheep in every flock, and let them be punished, I say, 
wherever they may be found." Mr. Byers paused, and 
cast a sharp glance at the inspector. As the latter offered 
no response, he continued, "So far, however, as these 
two gentlemen are concerned, I should be the last to 
suggest that they are anything but ornaments to the 
cause they serve. It is true that I know nothing of the 
lecturer who has just arrived from headquarters in Lon- 
don; but the Paris agent of the LO.T.A. is a man of the 


loftiest probity, from all I hear. I shall very likely be 
entrusted with Brother Bamber's insurances, his own life 
and perhaps that of Mrs. Bamber, in one company, and 
the property of the I.O.T.A. in another. With regard to 
Brother Neel, after all, I am not qualified to speak. By- 
the-bye, it appears that Neel came over in last night's 
mail from London — the train in which this murder was 
committed. I suppose you know that, however? He 
does not recognise the victim, he says. Rather curious 
that, isn't it? The papers say there were not many pas- 
sengers by the train. And yet, of course, you can't be 
expected to notice every passenger who travels by the 
train you may happen to come by, although there may 
be few of them. Still, in anybody with a black mark 
against him in the police records of either London or 
Paris, oversight of that sort would be looked at twice. 
Yes, there's the world! Just the difference between a 
fustian jacket, or a bit of Scotch tweed, and a shiny 
black coat with a sham clerical cut to it and a starched 
white cravat at the top of a high waistcoat" 

"I know he travelled by the mail last night," said 
Mr. Byde; "they told me so. But I don't suppose he 
noticed anybody from the time he left London to the 
moment he arrived here. These trading teetotal spouters 
are always thinking over their platform effects. I dare 
say he passes the whole of his time tampering with 
statistics, or inventing ' fatal instances of alcoholic excess 
which, my dear friends, have fallen within my own per- 
sonal observation.'" 

Mr. Byers laughed, and laughter suited him. His clear 
eyes twinkled merrily, his florid visage deepened in its 
glow; and at the temples and the corners of the motith 
the lines lay so disposed as to lure into responsive mirth 


the least sympathetic of spectators, whether frigid or 
stupid, or merely artificially reserved. Even the passenger 
from Scotland Yard, who knew the laugh of old, yielded 
to it. 

"Like old times," sighed Mr. Byers presently, "to see 
you sitting there, and hear you talk like that Ah, those 
old times! None of you would let me rest. And yet 
you could never show any ground for your suspicions! 
Ha! ha! ha! ha!" 

"No, we could never prove anything," replied the in- 
spector. "You were always too sharp for us, Benjamin." 

"I was always unjustly accused, you mean!" 

"Ah, yes, that was it! I remember now, 'Innocent 
Ben,' we used to call you at the Yard: 'Old Ben Byers, 
the receiver — Innocent Ben.' It looked bad for you, though, 
in that fraudulent pretences case; and now I think of it, 
that must have been your last appearance in public over 

"Quite right; that was the last And an abominable 
miscarriage of justice that case threatened to be!" said 
Mr. Byers, in a complaining tone. "I was as nearly 
falling a victim to appearances, in that case, as ever an 
innocent man was in this world. My counsel brought 
me off, but a pretty sum it cost me! I thought it best 
to leave the country after that The Yard was too eager. 
You would have driven me into a conviction or a lunatic 
asylum, if I had stayed. No, I got out of it I took my 
little savings to America, and as there's no chance for 
an honest man in the United States, came over here at 
the first opportunity, and set up. But it was hard to be 
persecuted in one's native country, and to be driven 

"Never mind, Benjamin," returned Mr. Byde good- 


humouredly. "That's all over now, and you've had a fresh 
start — and it seems to agree with you. Of course you 
have too much sense to mix up with compromising people 
for the future. What led you to the Morgue this after- 

"What led me to the Morgue? Fm sure I don't know: 
curiosity, I suppose. What led other people to the Morgue? 
I read of this mysterious occurrence in a special edition 
of a morning paper, and, as I happened to be passing, 
just looked in. Did anyone ever meet with persons like 
these gentlemen from Scotland Yard! What led me to 
the Morgue! Come, now, Mr. Byde, that's very unkind 
of you — it is indeed!" 

"Well, don't be angry! Fm bound to ask questions, 
you know." 

"What led me to the Morgue? Now, I am really very 
much hurt, Mr. Byde — I am indeed — very much hurt, by 
the way you put that question. It's most unkind. What 
led your LO.T.A. friends to the Morgue?" 

"I led them there." 

"That may be satisfactory enough," retorted the visitor, 
profoundly wounded by the abrupt demand* "But, at any 
rate, / was not a passenger by the night-mail!" 

Grandpa blew his nose with vehemence, and was 
visibly affected. His host endeavoured to appease him, 
and grandpa at length recovered his cheerfulness. He no 
longer spoke, however, in the sanctimonious tone which 
had been noticeable at the outset of their interview. 

"As to that murder," said he, "I rather wonder what 
the motive could have been." 

"Find out the motive," replied the inspector, "and 
you find out the man." 

"Is that your maxim?" 


"One of them." 

"And you rely upon it?" 

"Not I! The man in my business who relies upon 
maxims will either go wrong or make no progress at all. 
My maxims are as good as the rest of them — that is to 
say, useless truisms, or only half true. € Cherchez la 
femme/ they say here. That may do in France, but it 
won't hold water in an Anglo-Saxon community. And I 
should think that here, too, the criminal must often be 
delighted to see the police hunting desperately for some 
feminine intrigue as the commencement of their clue. 
What are all* these maxims worth? 'If there were no 
receivers, there would be no thieves/ says a prisoner to 
me the other day in the cell. 'If there were no thieves/ 
I told him, 'there would be no receivers.' " 

"Good!" commented grandpa. 

Inspector Byde hauled his two pipe-cases out of his 
pocket, and began, as was his custom, to weigh inwardly 
their respective claims. 

"I must be going," said grandpa; "on my way home 
I have a call to make." The inspector stirred the fire, 
and pulled at the bell-rope. "But now that I know where 
to find you," continued his guest, rising, "I shall call in 
passing, and take my chance. You don't go back yet, 
of course?" 

" Can't say." 

"Well, to-morrow, if you are in the neighbourhood of 
the Rue des Petits Champs — here's my card — ah! by the 
way, the name is Bingham, as you see, not Byers. Byers 
is defunct. Obliged to do it, sir! Hard lines, but 
obliged to do it. Driven out of your native country, and 
forced to take up another name! Cruel, sir, cruel! Ah! 
the law can make terrible mistakes." 




"When were you last in England?" 

"Long, long ago. Ah, dear old England! 'With all 
her faults/ you know, etc. Well, well! Occasionally I re- 
ceive a visitor from the old country — business, pure busi- 
ness — insurance agency, and that sort of thing, you know! 

"Keep clear of compromising characters, Benjamin. 

"Oh, my dear Mr. Byde — come, come! — I suppose 
further details of that murder case will be out by this 
time. Strange thing that man Neel never noticed his fellow- 
passenger. Ten hours' journey — two changes — long stop- 
page at Calais — travellers not numerous: strange thing!" 

When the door had closed behind his visitor, and the 
waiter had brought up his tumbler of hot grog, the in- 
spector resumed his survey of the two pipes, and even- 
tually decided for the "considering-cap." He reopened 
the blotting-pad, and selected a sheet of note-paper on 
which no diagrams had been traced. Then, each sentence 
punctuated with a puff of smoke, and with the Sphinx 
looking down serenely on his labours, he indited by easy 
stages the subjoined paragraphs: 

"If A (Byers) is known to B (from Scotland Yard) as 
confirmed suspicious character, is not B justified in regard- 
ing C (Bamber) and D (Neel), acquaintances or possible 
associates of A, as hypothetically suspicious characters? 

"But if A were involved in any illicit transactions 
with C, would he not carefully avoid all mention to B of 
his acquaintance with C, especially under the peculiar 
circumstances of B's former relations with A? 

"If A, conversing with B, repeatedly introduces the 
name of D, in direct connection with a certain mysterious 
affair, is not B justified in suspecting A of a desire to 
compromise D in the judgment of B ? 


"Now, if A wishes B to suspect D, might it not be in 
order to divert the attention of B from A himself, or 
from A's associate E (unknown)? 

"A has, therefore, presumably, no illicit transactions 
with D. And A either suspects D in connection with 
mysterious affair, or, having himself (A) or E to shield, 
wishes D to be suspected by B. Whence, 

"To watch both A and D; and to find E." 

To find E, the unknown person or persons. Persons? 
The very men who came from London by the night-mail, 
he would lay his life upon it! And Toppin had missed 
them! Well, they would now see what the value of it 
might prove — this famous registration system of the Paris 
police. Toppin had declared that they would have these 
men in a couple of days. But suppose A, through E, we 
would say, had certain special reasons, bona-fide, for sus- 
pecting D? Phew! what a stroke of luck! The inspector 
put his pipe down with a look of gratitude at the Sphinx. 
The good ideas he owned to that pipe! — it was amazing! 

At that moment, A and D were chatting together 
quite pleasantly in the Hdtel des Nations, Rue de Com- 
pi&gne. The temperance question, from the actuarial 
point of view, formed the subject of their colloquy. Mr. 
Bingham, ni Byers, had called upon the lecturer of the 
LO.T.A., Brother Neel, as he had offered to do in the 
afternoon; and in No. 21, the comfortable chamber te- 
nanted by Brother Neel, the "confirmed suspicious cha- 
racter" was expatiating on the superiority of "teetotal 
lives." He congratulated Brother Neel upon his excellent 
quarters — not too high up, and wonderfully tranquil for 
the vicinity of the station. Mr. Bingham walked round 
the spacious room with the experienced air of the Paris 


resident No noisy neighbours, he hoped? Ah, true; 
the room was at the extremity of the corridor — that he 
had perceived on his arrival. The party-wall of the 
building would, of course, lie on that side, quite so; and 
from that direction consequently there could be no dis- 
turbance. Still, a very little might disturb us sometimes 
when we were engaged on difficult work, actuarial cal- 
culations for instance, or the details of the LO.T.A. The 
neighbour on the other side might, perhaps — what, no 
neighbour? Unoccupied for the present — the bedroom 
adjoining? Most fortunate for Brother Neel, if he had 
work to do; so much the better in the interests of his 
tranquillity. Would look in to-morrow on the matter of 
the proposed policy. Good-night! — And so No. 19 was 


Mr. Bingham did look in on the following morning, 
but at a strangely unseasonable hour. No one was stir- 
ring, when he presented himself next day, but the earliest 
of the hotel servants. He had brought with him an in- 
valid friend who had travelled all night from the South 
of France, he remarked to the porter, an Alsatian peasant, 
who had a surly and half-imbecile air. The apartment 
for his companion was already taken; he had engaged it 
himself on the previous night. The room was No. 1 9, on 
the second floor, almost at the extremity of the corridor. 

His invalid friend had been a great sufferer, added 
Mr. Bingham, when they had assisted the new-comer to 
an armchair in the hall. Urgent business was recalling 
him to England, but the state of his health required that 
he should break the journey for a day or two, and for a 
day or two, therefore, he should remain in Paris. Was 


the room No. 19 ready for its occupant? Everything 
quite in order? Capital. Then we would have the fire 
lighted at once, and we would support No. 19 upstairs 
to his apartment. Oh, he had grown stronger on the 
breezes of the Mediterranean, but there was still much to 
be desired. Just now, the fatigues of a long journey, and 
sleeplessness, were telling upon him; but with repose and 
quiet he would soon recuperate. An undermining sort 
of malady, though. What malady? Well, something con- 
stitutional — debilitated frame — took after his parents. Mr. 
Bingham had known his young friend's father well, and 
it was exactly the same kind of physique — ainsi, voyez! 
Oh, but he was not always prostrated - like this. The 
vigour he would exhibit sometimes would even astonish 
his medical advisers — and they were of the best. Repose 
he needed, and tranquillity — tranquillity and judicious 
nursing. Luckily, he could pay well. The invalid under- 
stood little of these explanations, it seemed. He lay back 
languidly, enveloped in his rugs, and hardly for a single 
moment unclosed his eyes. 

"How pale he looks, the poor young gentleman; and 
how drawn his features are!" 

"Ah, you may well say so — yes, indeed;" acquiesced 
Mr. Bingham, who had seen to that matter before he 
started with his young friend for the Hdtel des Nations, 
and who stood for a minute or two critically studying his 
own handiwork. 

The early servants were beginning to sweep the cor- 
ridors, as the new arrivals passed along. On the second- 
floor, a citizen of the Republic who had unmistakably the 
scowl of him who nourishes in secret dreams of an 
anarchical Utopia, was collecting, with a moody resigna- 
tion, pairs of boots thrown outside the bedroom doors. 


He treated the boots less roughly than, perhaps, could 
he have had his way, he would have treated their uncon- 
scious owners. And yet, as they proceeded slowly down 
the corridor towards No. 19, the visitors observed him 
kick one or two pairs savagely, as though their elegance 
offended him. He spat, indeed, on some: they had blue 
silk linings, high heels, and innumerable buttons; and, 
as the visitors moved by, he turned and stared insolently 
at them, with undisguised contempt and hatred. The 
spectacle of the invalid brought to his face a sneer of 
gratification and of the bitterest malignity. 

"A subscriber to the Lanterne?" asked Mr. Bingham. 

"Oh, worse than that!" replied their conductor smil- 
ingly, and still turning over in his pocket the piece of 
gold given him by this affable old gentleman. "Gr6goire is 
our black-flag politician. If you could hear him talk down- 
stairs, in the kitchen, about the next rising of the people! 
Fm advanced, myself; I want the Commune, but I don't 
go so far as Gr£goire, in the means. He'd begin by a 
massacre of all the persons staying in the hotel — all ex- 
cept the foreigners, that is; and then all the servants who 
refused to join his revolutionary group should be marched 
into the street, in front there, and shot. He wants to see 
all the well-to-do classes exterminated, and then to have 
everybody do every description of work by turns. All 
that I fear, monsieur, is one thing: that Grdgoire may 
some day lose his patience and change his doctrine. And 
that is why I have ventured to trouble monsieur with 
such long details after monsieur's generosity, and mon- 
sieur being a foreigner — indeed, an English, who are not 
cruel to the working man. Gr^goire might be driven one 
day by his hatred to put his theory into execution; justify- 
ing theft, as we call it, Gr^goire might one day commit 


theft. And that — ah, but that would change our senti- 
ments towards our confrere! Just imagine, for one minute, 
how we should all be compromised ! I say nothing against 
advanced views — monsieur is perhaps conservative in his 
own country? No? — but I don't see that all the rest of 
us should possibly Incur suspicion because we have a con- 
frere whose political school denies the rights of property. 
No, monsieur! I have a young nephew who would like 
to take his place, and who seeks to enter a good establish- 
ment Anything, therefore, that monsieur might miss 
from his room should be mentioned. Monsieur will pardon 
me? — and this is in confidence. But of course in these 
observations I study alone the interest of monsieur and 
of the establishment" 

Left to themselves at last, in No. 19, Mr. Bingham 
and his invalid companion alike underwent a marked 
alteration of demeanour. The invalid pitched his hat 
across the room, stretched his arms, and gaped. His 
elderly friend drew his chair up to the recently-lighted fire. 

"What was he talking about all that time, grandpa?" 
inquired the invalid. 

"Oh, it's too long to repeat. But there's something 
in it that might turn out useful." Mr. Bingham hummed 
a little tune and stared into the fireplace. 

"Lucky we had that snack before we started, grandpa. 
But I shall soon be hungry again — and I'm thirsty, now, 
I give you the tip. Ain't you?" 

"Now, Bat, you just listen to me," said the other, 
without paying any attention to this hint. "I'm paying 
most of the expenses of this little affair, and I expect you 
to do the best you can for me. You've got to do your 
best, to-day. It's for your own good as well as mine." 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 1 1 


"All right, grandpa; don't you be uneasy. If it's in 
my line, I'll do it. Is it here I'm to go to work?" 

"On one of those two doors; and in the meantime 
you must not be heard. On the other side of one of these 
doors you're going to find the Wilmot diamonds." 

"What ?" 

" Just so! I brought you away this morning for 

no other reason." 

"Grandpa, old Clements ain't in it with you! — no, 
nor Byde from Scotland Yard. And as for me and Sir 
John — well, there! Bar accidents, and I shall do it, if 
it's to be done at all. But if I'm to go to work in here 
with any confidence I must know that you're outside on 
duty!" The speaker had adopted now as low a tone as 
his companion. He threw open his roomy ulster, and 
unwound his woollen scarf; and the weazen face and 
slight proportions were those of Finch, alias Walker. He 
locked the door by which they had entered. 

Some time elapsed before they heard their neighbours 
move in either of the rooms adjoining. The chamber they 
were occupying belonged properly to a complete suite; 
but, as often happens in the Paris hotels, the several 
apartments had been let off singly; inter-communication 
being arrested by the locked doors, which are usually 
hidden by tapestry, curtains, or a massive wardrobe. The 
suite can be restored -at will, either wholly or in part. A 
convenient device for the hotel-keeper, the system proves 
less agreeable for his tenants. One is often an involuntary 
auditor; one is often unwittingly overheard. Eaves-drop- 
pers are well housed in these hotels. 

"Which is it?" murmured Mr. Finch, indicating the 
opposite doors, to the right and to the left of the windows. 

His companion nodded in the direction of a mahogany 


toilette-table, to the right It had been placed against the 
door communicating with No. 21, which was the spacious 
chamber at the end of the corridor, to the left hand, 
allotted to Brother Neel. 

"Key in the lock on the other side?" demanded Mr. 
Finch. His companion rose, and moved silently towards 
the toilette-table. A curtain nailed above the door and 
descending to the ground concealed the lock from their 
view, and in the dull light of the morning Mr. Bingham, 
as he held the curtain away, could not satisfy himself on 
the point. " Strike a match," whispered Mr. Finch. Grandpa 
shook his head; their neighbour might be awake at this 
moment, and might hear them. It was just as well that 
Brother Neel should still suppose the adjoining room un- 
occupied. "Hear!" muttered Mr. Finch; "he won't hear 
this, Til lay a thousand!" 

In another instant he held a small flame in the hollow 
of his hand. Noiseless matches formed part of Mr. Finch's 

"Door locked, and the key not on the other side," 
whispered Finch, alias Walker, after an extremely know- 
ing examination. He helped to move the toilette-table 
slightly, produced a second little flame, and passed it up 
and down the edge of the door. "No lower bolt on the 
other side," he pronounced; "and let's hope there's no 
higher one. Door opens this way." 

They replaced the piece of furniture against the cur- 
tain. Presently a stir in the far room announced the 
awakening of, at any rate, one of their two neighbours. 
He appeared to be a French gentleman with a retentive 
memory for the refrains of Paris concert halls. "ThMse, 
Thfrfce" — he threw off encouragingly at intervals, as he 

11* i 



clattered about his apartment — "Mets-toi done a ton 
aise!" — adding the exhortation, now and then — 

"Ne fais pas de fa^ons! — 
C'est bientdt Char-en-ton! " 

"What does he say?" murmured Mr. Finch suspiciously. 
Mr. Bingham was too intent upon the enterprise before 
them to respond. The Gaul in the next room varied his 
references to Charenton, and his counsels to Therese, by 
a verse or two from sentimental ditties, which he intoned 
in a vibrating falsetto, and for which he would occasion- 
ally " encore " himself with great enthusiasm. " He wouldn't 
sing like that if I had him on the Dials," growled Mr. 
Finch. " Tu m' as promts un baiser ce soirl" quavered the 
vocalist, imitating the applause of the gallery immediately 
afterwards, and vociferating, "Bis!" They heard a crash 
of broken glass, and the vocalist subsided into a species of 
prose which brought a fleeting smile to grandpa's coun- 
tenance. "Put his elbow through the looking-glass, I 
dare say," commented Mr. Finch. 

The voice of some person apparently declaiming met 
their ears, however, from the opposite direction. The 
two occupants of No. 1 9 exchanged glances. They had 
nothing to do but wait in patience. 

Yes, it was the eloquent lecturer of the I.O.T.A. exer- 
cising in his platform style. He kept his voice at a sub- 
dued pitch, but most of its rehearsed modulations they 
could follow with ease. Now he assailed with impetuous 
ire the demon tempter lurking in every nook, beneath 
myriad disguises. The alluring shape and the deceptive 
blush — Alcohol! The honeyed accents of the faithless 
lover — Alcohol! Betrayals of the husband's trust — deser- 
tions of the faultless wife — unnatural neglect by parents, 
barbarous abandonment by ungrateful offspring — fraud, 


insolvency, ruin — Alcohol! — "yes, my friends; in every 
physical and social ill, in all deformities of mind and 
body, in sickness and in woe, under the mask of pleasure 
and in every lineament of vice — we can detect and stamp 
out, if we choose, the serpent form and the envenomed 
sting of Alcohol!" 

Brother Neel repeated the various clauses of the fore- 
going denunciation with different inflections of the voice, 
and at differing speed. He tried the sentence in a sus- 
tained high key; then in a measured, awe-stricken bass; 
and finally he mixed both manners in about equal pro- 
portions. He seemed a little undecided about the con- 
struction of the final clause. Should it not run, "detect 
the serpent form, and stamp out the envenomed sting," 
or, say, "detect the envenomed sting, and stamp out the 
serpent form" — or, stay: would not "serpent shape" go 
better, because of the alliteration, — "serpentine shape," 
rather? — no, not "shape," because we had had "alluring 
shape" at the commencement; "serpent form," then, or 
"coils:" yes? — "serpent coils" was good, was it not? 
Brother Neel disposed of this point, and proceeded to 
rehearse the vein of anecdote. 

"Why, my dear friends, the other day a poor man 
came to me, and he said — he was a poor miner, my 
dear friends, and he had been a miner from his youth 
upward, and his father was a miner, and he said — and 
his face was careworn and his limbs were weary, and he 
had waited at our temperance hall until the hour came 
for our evening conference, when we meet together for 
our mutual comfort and our mutual inspiration — for who 
amongst us is there that can say he never flagged and 
never faltered in the arduous onward march? — and this 
poor man came to me, and he said, 'Guv'nor/ he^said, 


'I want to leave off drink.' Oh, my dear friends, what 
welcome words were those! 'I want to leave off drink, 
guVnor/ he said. And he stood with his grimy face and 
his horny hands, and he looked at me so wistfully, and 
he said to me so simply and so earnestly, 'GuVnor, it's 
a 'ard life, working in the pits!' And I gazed into his 
grimy face, and I grasped his horny hand, and I said to 
this poor man, I said, 'And it's drink that makes it 
hard.' And, oh, my dear friends, if you had seen that 
honest face light up with relief and joy and hope! — and 
my heart bounded and throbbed within me — and he 
said, 'GuVnor, I want to leave off working in the pits.' 
And I said, 'It's the alcohol you loathe and abhor, my 
dear friend, is it not?' And he said, 'Yes, guVnor; 
and the pits.' And I said, 'Can you leave off alcohol, 
and be like me? Am I not happy without alcohol?' 
And he replied, 'Guv'nor, that's what I've come about. 
I want to leave off alkeroil, and be like you. It's a 'ard 
life working in the pits. I want to be happy like you; 
and if you'd take me in and learn me to preach to 
people, guv'nor, I'd leave off alkeroil. And so would 
my missus, and so would my son.' And that poor man 
has been rescued, my dear friends — rescued from the 
curse of drink; and his son and his wife have been 
rescued also; and now they are missionaries of the 
I.O.T.A., well clad, comfortably housed, and content, and 
receiving three times their former wages. And such is 
the value of a good example that we have since ha<f in- 
numerable applications from that poor man's district, 
for similar places in the I.O.T.A. Ah, yes, the cause is 

prospering, my friends " etc., etc. 

"That's him, sure enough," remarked Mr. Finch, whose 
frown had disappeared. "He's preaching to himself." 


"Do you think you can do it, with what I have 
here?" asked his companion in a cautious undertone. 
"They're not what you have been used to; they're of 
French make, you know." 

"Let's have a look at them, to see how they make 
'em in this country." Mr. Bingham produced a bunch 
of skeleton keys, upon which articles his young friend 
bent an intelligent scrutiny. "French make, are they?" 
he continued. "Well, then, give me Clerkenwell!" 

"Can't you work with them?" 

"Oh, Fll undertake to do it I'd do it with three 
hairpins, grandpa, if you could spare them out of your 

"Well, the first chance we find we'll lose no time 
about it. If this is the man who's got the property, to- 
night would be too late. If the Wilmot diamonds are in 
his possession at all — and I'd stake my life upon it — he 
can only leave them in his portmanteau in that room 
under lock-and-key, or else carry them about with him. 
There is one other place where they might be; but 
though they might be there to-morrow, or to-night, I do 
not think they can be there already. When he goes out 
of his room presently, we shall see whether they are 
stored away in his portmanteau. If they are not in his 
portmanteau, he is carrying them about with him. If he 
is carrying them about with him " 

"I object to violence, grandpa, as you know. I told 
old Clements I wouldn't have anything to do with 

"You can't object to it more than I do!" ejaculated 
grandpa, with virtuous emphasis, but still speaking in 
low tones. "I always have set my face against violence. 
But we can't stand in Sir John's way, if he fancies a 


short cut rather than a long way round. And if our 
man in the next room should persist in carrying stolen 
property about with him in the streets of Paris, why Jack 
may as well have a try for it as any of the garrotters 
here. You haven't come all this distance for nothing, I 
should hope? I haven't gone into this spec — and spent 
my money on it when times are bad, and given my 
energies to it — for nothing, I can tell you! That man 
in the next room is a thief. He is a thief on as big a 
scale as ever I saw; and he's something else, too, if we 
put the dots upon the 'i's.' However, we don't concern 
ourselves about anything but the property. We don't 
care how he came by it; we believe he's got it, and we 
mean to take it from him. Now, if he chooses to carry 
the valuables about with him, he'll have to reckon with 
Sir John." 

"Well, you know what Sir John is. He'll very likely 
follow his old tack: hit this man on the head, put him 
out, and manage to throw all the appearances on to us, 

"Not while I am in the neighbourhood, Bartholomew, 
will he manage to throw appearances on to us. But I 
don't believe our man would carry the stones about with 
him. It's all against that. Why? He knows very well 
that if he did happen to be suspected by the French 
police — how can we say that he was not seen by some 
other passenger, a Frenchman, perhaps, and that they 
may not be making their preparations, now, to come 
down upon him? — and that's why we must lose no time 
— if he did happen to be suspected, the people from the 
Prefecture would take him just as they'd take any rough 
out of the streets, and they'd search him without any 
ceremony. What do they understand about Brother this 


and Brother that; and what do they care? We are not 
in England. Now, suppose that diamonds of extra- 
ordinary value are found upon his person, what answer 
can he give? But if a fortune in diamonds should be 
found concealed in his trunk at the hotel he could al- 
ways reply, however preposterous it would seem, that 
'some malicious person must have placed them there* — 
the real thief, perhaps. And that is what he would say, 
in a minute, and in England it would go down with a 
lot of people. The LO.T.A. would back him up in Eng- 
land, and most probably present him with a testimonial. 
No; he'll leave the property hidden somewhere in his 
portmanteau. And to convey the impression that there's 
nothing of any value in his room to tempt the servants, 
it's odds he leaves his door unfastened when he goes 
downstairs to the table d'hote breakfast! You think these 
instruments will do? The lock of the door you can deal 
with, I know; but what about the portmanteau? A port- 
manteau was the only luggage he had that I could see." 
"Don't you trouble about that, grandpa. I was 
educated by parents that did their duty by their Bartho- 
lomew, the eldest of seven. I'll unlock any portmanteau 
in this house with these instruments," said Mr. Finch, 
adding, as he spread out his delicate fingers, "and 

"Bat, you're a smart boy! What a pity you live in 
London: there's a fortune to be made here by an artist 
like you! Why don't you come and set up? Fd run 

"Not me! Leave London for this place? Why, they 
tell me there are never any fogs here; I should be out of 
work half the time. Leave London? Leave Soho, where 
I was born — and Regent Street, Piccadilly, and Oxford 


Street, where Fve earned my living since I could use my 
hands — not me, Mr. Wilkins — no, sir!" 

"I could put you in a good line, Bartholomew. It 
would pay you well." 

"Thank you, grandpa — but Fd rather stay in Lon- 
don, on a little. All my relations live in Saint Giles's 
parish; except Uncle Simon, who went to Birmingham 
to set up, and was committed a fortnight ago to take his 
trial at Warwick Assizes. Give me the West-end on a 
foggy night !" 

"Your parents must be proud of you, Bartholomew. ,, 

"Oh, Fm a good mechanic. That I will say; but 
you should see my second brother! There's one thing I 
can not undertake to do, grandpa, and I dare say you've 
thought of it Fll unlock this door, and Fll unlock that 

portmanteau, but Fm if I can undertake to lock 

them again, afterwards!" 

"That's a little matter we can risk. Our man will 
make no fuss, when he finds it out At the worst, there 
is somebody in this building we can throw suspicion 

"Suppose we get it, what are you going to do with 
Sir John?" 

"Leave him where he is till we're out of danger. 
We can't have him hampering us, while there's any 
danger; he'll get his share all in good time." 

"But you said that the police here would be safe to 
pounce upon him in two or three days, if he stays in the 
same hotel?" 

"And I say so still. What of that? It gives us time 
to get clear, and to negotiate the stones. They couldn't 
prove anything against him, and they'd be bound to let 
him go. If we had him with us in this room he'd spoil 


everything — with his rage against the man next door for 
besting him in the train. This man got there first, there's 
no doubt about it, and Jack would be at him, if he had 
to cut through that wall. When Mr. Toppin and the 
French police have had a look at the hotel registers for 
yesterday morning, they're certain to turn up at Jack's 
address. Let them take him. A week or so in the 
D6pdt won't do him any harm!" 

"The Depdt? What's that— quod?" 

"Yes; and not so nicely furnished as the House of 

"Grandpa, look here! It's all square between us three, 
isn't it? We're not going to sell old Jack, are we, grandpa?" 

"Sell him? Of course not! He'll be all right. He's 
come over on a trip — that's his story. He's going on to 
Nice and Cannes, and broke the journey at Paris, to 
enjoy himself. If they identify him, he took a false 
name because he knew the other might get him stopped, 
and he wanted change of air and a little amusement 
When I paid your bill this morning, I told them you 
were going on first Let Mr. Toppin have him put au 
secret, and let the police search him for a week, if they 
like. They won't find anything, as Jack himself says, 
now that he has removed those bloodstains. Awkward, 
those stains; but he had no luck. While they are en- 
gaged with friend Jack, you and I will be in Amsterdam." 

"It must be all square between us three, grandpa; or 
else I don't go to work." 

"Sell Sir John? I wouldn't think of such a thing. 
When he came out, he'd swing for the man who sold 
him!" There was a pause. "It might perhaps be dis- 
agreeable for Sir John if they found a firearm in his 
possession. What weapons does he carry?" 


"I thought of that," replied Mr. Finch, "and last 
night I did what I could to set my mind at rest. I 
never saw him with any weapon but the dagger in that 
cane he- carries." 

"Would you like to get through this without me, since 
it has taken a different turn? — come, now! I've put you 
on the right track, but I'll pull up at this instant if Fm 
objected to in this affair. For all I know, if I chose I 
could manage it by myself, for myself; and even if you 
got the diamonds you might lose them again; and some- 
body I know, and you don't know, and Clements never 
heard of in his life, might be the party who would find 

"Me lose them, to anyone here! Fll lay a thousand 
no one here can give me my lessons." 

"Suppose you went to sleep for a few hours, hey? 
Suppose you were not in the least sleepy, and you sud- 
denly went to sleep — very soundly to sleep? Oh, I have 
a good many strings to my bow, and I know your name 
is Walker!" 

"Fd lay a thousand no one " 

"Well, well, we'll drop that side of it. But if you 
get this property, how can you liquidate it? You can't 
without the aid of Benjamin Byers, deceased. Can either 
you or Sir John put any of these diamonds on the market, 
even the small ones, if there are any small ones? How 
many can Clements, a known receiver, dispose of? But 
I can do it in half an hour among my clients in Amster- 
dam! I can pass every one of them through the market 
— yes, and at fair terms! But if you'd like to see me 
out of this, if you'd like to go on by yourself — say so!" 

"Me? Such a thought has never come into my head, 
Fm sure. Why, what a state you're in about it, grandpa! 


You shall hold the property yourself. I'm not afraid of 
the confidence-trick being done on me! Go on without 
you, grandpa? not me! No, sir — not me, Mr. Wilkins!" 

A waiter knocked at the door, and, on Mr. Bingham's 
unfastening it, inquired whether the invalid young gentle- 
man would not wish to have a slight repast served in his 
apartment instead of descending. Most decidedly, was 
Mr. Bingham's answer. His young friend would take all 
his meals in his own room. And breakfast could be 
brought up to them as soon as it was ready. The repast 
need not necessarily be a slight one. He had a pro- 
digious appetite himself, and he should remain to keep 
his young friend company. The waiter stood upon the 
threshold and peered inquisitively into the room. He 
could not see the invalid at all, and Mr. Bingham made 
way for him to enter. "Monsieur slumbers?" asked the 
waiter, in a whisper. Mr. Bingham could not say, and 
he moved on tiptoe to the bed and gently pulled the 
curtain on one side. He shrugged his shoulders, with a 
gesture of uncertainty, but whispered that the breakfast 
might, all the same, be served as soon as it was ready. 
Mr. Finch, who had taken a flying leap through the bed- 
curtains when the knock came at the door, was breathing 
in a laboured manner, and occasionally he uttered plain- 
tive moans. 

They had finished their repast subsequently — and a 
prodigious appetite had certainly had full play, although 
it was not grandpa's — when a bell sounded for several 
moments in the court-yard. 

"The table d'hdte!" said Mr. Bingham; "get ready." 

The invalid rose with alacrity, and followed his con- 
siderate attendant to the corner of the room. Mr. Bing- 
ham moved quite as noiselessly as Finch, alias Walker, 


and the latter was in his stockinged feet. They lifted 
the toilette-table from its place. The French gentleman, 
droning his concert-hall refrains, had gone down some 
time before. They now heard their neighbour on the 
other side preparing to descend. There was the click 
of a lock, and the jingle of a bunch of keys. Brother 
Neel marched with a heavy step to his door, opened it, 
closed it after him, locked it, and passed along the corridor. 

"He has locked his portmanteau, and he has locked 
the door of his room, too," commented Mr. Bingham. 
"Good sign!" 

They waited. Other doors communicating with the 
corridor opened and closed; footsteps resounded for an 
instant, and died away; and then they seemed to be 
alone in that corner of the building, beyond the possibility 
of disturbance. Mr. Bingham produced an odd-looking 
handful of twisted wires , some of which were no coarser 
than thread. He handed them to Mr. Finch. The in- 
valid, who had his wristbands turned up, immediately 
bent down to the lock of the door communicating with 
No. 21. 

Mr. Bingham stepped out of No. 1 9 into the corridor, 
and shut the door carefully behind him. There was no 
one to be seen. He walked up and down outside the 
entrances to those two chambers situated at the far end 
of the corridor, and then by degrees extended the limits 
of his patrol. You would have said that Mr. Bingham 
had given a rendezvous to somebody who tenanted a 
room along that corridor, and that he was impatient 
about his non-arrival. 

When Brother Neel, the Chrysostom of the LO.T.A., 
remounted the staircase, a golden toothpick protruding 
from his lips, he was bringing with him a roll of stout 


brown paper and a stick of sealing-wax. The elderly 
gentleman, with the inch or two of white whiskers and 
the florid pear-shaped face, had evidently grown tired of 
waiting for the absentee, for he was no longer to be ob- 
served pacing backwards and forwards in the corridor. 
Brother Neel proceeded towards No. 21, and re-entered 
his apartment. It was just as he had left it — altogether 
as he had left it. His portmanteau stood upon one of 
the chairs, and on the portmanteau lay his newspapers 
and a bundle of printed documents tied together with 
broad red tape. Just as he had quitted it he found the 

Brother Neel began to hum — "I charge thee, halt! 
Say — friend or foe!" He went to a table and spread 
out the roll of brown paper. Upon this he placed a 
newspaper doubled. He then lighted one of the candles 
on the mantelpiece, and deposited near it the sealing- 
wax ready for use. He transferred the printed docu- 
ments, and the half-dozen journals underneath, to a chair 
close by, and drew from his pocket a small bunch of 
keys. One of these keys he inserted into the lock of 
the portmanteau. . . . What could be wrong with the 
key? . . . The portmanteau was already unlocked! 

How was this? Had he really omitted to secure the 
lock, in spite of his precaution, before quitting the room? 
Brother Neel threw open the portmanteau, tore away the 
uppermost articles, and plunged his hand into a recess 
contrived, no doubt, specially for the reception of jewellery 
or valuables of similarly moderate bulk. The keen anxiety 
of his expression, however, disappeared almost at once. 
From the recess he drew an oblong package in white 
tissue-paper. The paper was tarnished here and there 
with an irregular stain; at the contact of one of these 



insignificant patches, Brother Neel let the little parcel 
drop from his hands and stood for a moment staring at 
his fingers. It was not terror that his Countenance now 
betrayed; it was not surprise, nor was it horror. It was 
aversion simply that his countenance betrayed; and a 
second longer look at these few barely noticeable macu- 
lations revealed them to be, not blots of dark red ink, 
but splashes most probably of blood. 

He took up the oblong package again, and partly un- 
folded the outer sheet of tissue-paper in which it had 
been wrapped. At this moment he abruptly looked be- 
hind him, penetrating every corner and alcove of his 
apartment with a quick, alarmed, suspicious glance. And 
yet he could have heard no sound in either direction, 
and he had certainly double-locked his door. 

The object enveloped in the folds of tissue-paper had 
the form of a pocket-book. But it was not in leather nor 
prunello; it was a sort of pocket-book in black velvet, 
though from its external aspect its contents could not be 
the correspondence of the I.O.T.A. The black velvet 
case was neatly bound up with thin bands of green silk. 
It bulged here and there in a curious manner; perhaps 
Brother Neel kept his signet-rings in this case — or articles 
of jewellery which, in recognition of his merit, might have 
been presented to him by grateful converts, grudging col- 
leagues, or admiring friends. He pressed the velvet with 
the fingers of both hands, and then, as the protuberances 
which met his touch satisfied him, replaced the neatly- 
bound velvet case in the first sheet of tissue-paper, and 
so made up the little package as before. The blotches 
that resembled blood-stains might have been consumed 
in a single minute in the flame of that one candle. Far 
from destroying them, Brother Neel apparently took pains 


to expose them precisely as at first, although he still 
avoided touching the marks themselves. Mr. Bingham, 
or Inspector Byde, with their experience of the world 
and their trained insight into criminal motive, would 
have assigned an identical reason for this measure, and, 
with the impartiality of experts, might have commended 
it as an act of the most wideawake sagacity. 

Brother Neel surrounded the package with a heap of 
pamphlets and written documents, which he procured 
from his portmanteau. Amidst half-yearly reports, tabular 
statements, popular leaflets, etc., it soon became entirely 
lost to view. The papers so accumulated he deposited 
with great care in one of the journals spread out on the 
table. The parcel thus made up he enclosed in another 
newspaper, and then he enveloped the whole in the 
stouter .sheets which he had obtained from below. The 
last layer but one he knotted securely with cord, and on 
every knot he placed a seal. The final enclosure he 
paid less attention to ostensibly. He sealed it only in a 
single place, and he attached the cord in such a fashion 
that his precious parcel looked like the most ordinary 
parcel in the world. What he next did was to inscribe 
the name of the society upon the covering. With the 
rusty pen of the inkstand on his mantelpiece, he printed 
in large capitals along the brown -paper covering — 
"I.O.T.A., Personal Notes, Reports, etc." 

Later in the day, when discussing business with 
Brother Bamber, at the offices in the Boulevard Hauss- 
mann, Brother Neel desired him to take temporary charge 
of documents which he should most likely need in the 
course of his labours. They would be more conveniently 
lodged at that spot than at his hotel, so far from the 
quarters of the I.O.T.A. as well as from the National 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 1 2 


Library, where he should be prosecuting his researches. 
Brother Bamber placed the parcel in the large safe of 
the LO.T.A. 

Brother Neel had not, however, made his journey un- 
observed. The gentleman who had ambled along at a 
safe distance in his rear, from the Rue de Compiegne to 
the Boulevard Haussmann, had stationed himself at a 
point from which he could easily perceive the eloquent 
lecturer, as he issued from the offices again, It was Mr. 
Bingham who thus awaited him; and Mr. Bingham noted 
that the precious parcel had undoubtedly been left in 
Brother Bamber's keeping, at the premises of the I.O.T.A. 


A second visit to the Avenue Marceau had provided 
matter for notes which covered page after page of Mr. 
Toppin's memorandum-book. He did not mean to com- 
municate all his information to his London colleague, 
but the one or two facts which he did intend to report 
relating to the point more immediately before them would, 
he reckoned, rather show the inspector that he knew how 
to conduct an inquiry with despatch. About the time 
that Mr. Bingham and his young friend, Mr. Finch, the 
native of St. Giles's parish, were the concealed auditors 
of Brother NeePs rehearsed harangue, Detective Toppin 
was insidiously plying questions in the Avenue Marceau. 

Fact No. 1 : Miss Knollys had received a letter from 
abroad by the last post on the previous evening. The 
postmark was "Dover." 

Fact No. 2: Miss Knollys had been suddenly taken 
ill; and Mrs. Bertram, who usually visited a great deal, 
and whose very day of reception this day happenedja 


be, had at once given instructions that, in consequence 
of a family bereavement, she was not at home to any 

And so the two ladies were connected by family ties? 
Well, perhaps they were, and perhaps they were not — 
how could she tell? — the concierge had responded. The 
family bereavement was very likely no bereavement at 
all; the servants had mentioned the orders transmitted to 
them, but they all believed that the sudden indisposition 
of Mdlle. Knollys was the sole "bereavement" which 
afflicted Madame Bertram. Bad news, most probably, 
from England — a death? A death! — but missives con- 
taining intelligence of that kind generally had a mourning 
border, and nothing with a mourning border had arrived 
through the post for either lady. Telegram? Well, but 
no telegrams had been delivered at the address for a 
week or a fortnight. Tenez! — the last telegram that ever 
came to Madame Bertram's address was prior to the 
arrival of Mdlle. Knollys. It was a message from the 
latter, — announcing her departure for Paris, had stated 
Madame Bertram's maid, when gossiping in the concierge's 
lodge the same afternoon. And, indeed, the young lady 
had arrived that evening with her own maid — anEngleesh! 

Ah — Miss Knollys had an English maid? What sort 

of a person — pleasant-like and sociable? Sociable! Ha! 

If she had a tongue in her head it must be only because 

it was the fashion to have one! Could not exchange a 

word with anybody as she stalked in and out of the 

house, and never even looked in the direction of the 

lodge. A pretty piece of assurance, she should think, 

for an ill-dressed awkward grenadier like that to take a 

place as lady's-maid, when she didn't know how to hang 

her own clothes on her angles! But who ever found an 



Engleesh, mistress or maid, who had the slightest notion 
of elegance in dress, until they learnt, like Madame Ber- 
tram, by residence in Paris? Yes; ladies'-maids like that 
— there were plenty of them, working in the beetroot- 
fields, in France! And as to being "pleasant," she seemed 
about as pleasant as the dentists at the free hospital, 
down town. "But you can judge for yourself," added 
the concierge; "there she goes, out for a little walk be- 
fore breakfast. Drole de pays, votre Angleterre! a country 
where the women get up early in the morning to take 
walks in the cold, for the benefit of their health, as they 
pretend, when it's so much easier to remain in bed!" 
Mr. Toppin assured the virago whom he had bribed into 
this flow of language that the hygienic practice she 
alluded to was not by any means absurdly prevalent 
among his countrywomen. 

The concierge had glanced through the window which 
commanded from her lodge a view of the lobby. From 
his own position, as he stood conversing with her, Toppin 
could not catch any glimpse of the derided "Engleesh." 
He heard the glass-door of the marble lobby opened and 
closed, however. Then, as Miss Knollys's maid stepped 
on to the stone pavement leading past the lodge-entrance 
to the main gateway of the building, he saw her, and 
was struck with astonishment. 

The maid held an envelope in her hand, and, as she 
approached, it seemed that she was intending, on this 
occasion at any rate, to address herself for guidance to 
the inimical portress. At the lodge door she perceived 
Mr. Toppin. Her hesitation was quite momentary, and 
might easily have escaped notice. She resumed her 
course, and in another instant had passed through the 
archway into the Avenue Marceau. 


"I do believe she had it in her mind to ask me a 
question," exclaimed the concierge — "a question with re- 
gard to some errand, no doubt, on which she has been 
sent; a direction, perhaps, written on that envelope. Ah, 
she would have been well received! You would have 
seen how I should have received her! I should have 
said, 'Mademoiselle, I am the portress/ I should have 
said, 'I am the portress, mademoiselle — not the commis- 
sionaire of the next comer, nor the General Post-Office ! ' 
Aha! — she would have been well received. I think I 
know how to put people in their places! Airs like that! 
Would not anyone fancy she was the mistress? Except 
that the mistress is as gentle and unpretending, and re- 
fined, from what I have seen of her, as the best-born 
lady of the true high-world: whereas, this — that! That 
can't speak to honest persons in its own station, and 
gives itself airs because it has a complexion and a figure ! " 

Toppin gazed at the empty archway. The imperial 
shape had vanished, but — oh, poor Toppin! — it had 
crossed his path. On heedless ears fell the harsh mono- 
tone of his informant. He could still see a clear pale 
face, black hair and eyebrows, and large dark eyes that 
looked full at him for a moment — large eyes of the 
darkest blue. 

"Airs like that! I think Pd show some taste in toi- 
lette before I went about posing for a princess. What a 
costume, and what a hat!" 

Mr. Toppin remembered no detail whatever of the 
hat, and of the costume he remembered only that it 
fitted the wearer tightly, and was plain. One fleeting 
attitude, statuesque and unstudied, defined itself again 
before his view, as he stared blankly through the glass 
doors of the lodge; and he half thought he saw again, 


as the imperial shape continued onwards to the archway, 
the self-conscious movement of the handsome woman who 
knows that she is watched admiringly. He had not ob- 
served any angles, he presently declared; nor had it oc- 
curred to him to guess at any. 

What did the male sex know about the artifices of 
the toilette! It was always easy to deceive them — always 
— unless they happened to be man-milliners. But certainly 
monsieur had been impressed by Mdlle. Lydia — that was 
the new maid's name — what, not impressed? Oh, there 
could be no denying the fact; monsieur was undoubtedly 
impressed. Well, she had a figure and a complexion, 
but as for any taste, grace, or refinement of the wardrobe, 
why, the commonest little street girl of Paris, lazy, thought- 
less, and slovenly, and loitering on her way to school to 
play at marbles with the telegraph boys, could choose 
her colours or put on a piece of imitation lace with more 
discernment than this professed Engleesh lady's-maid. 
Still, if the striding life-guard who had just gone out re- 
sponded to the notion which monsieur had formed of 
feminine attractiveness, why did he not offer to escort 
her? This Mdlle. Lydia was his compatriot — pas? At 
all events, the concierge added, she herself really must 
now turn her attention to her regular duties. 

The temptation to offer his assistance to his superb 
fellow-countrywoman, who, after all, if strange to Paris, 
might have been grateful for the aid, had already pre- 
sented itself, in fact, to Mr. Toppin's mind. What re- 
strained him was a sentiment rather unusual with this 
gentleman — an odd feeling of inferiority. If it had been 
the mistress who was masquerading in the maid's attire, 
the habitual gallantry of Mr. Toppin, when he found 
himself among his social equals, could not have been 


more suddenly frozen. Just as well that he had shown 
her no civility, thought Toppin; it might have involved 
him in attentions which would have distracted him from 
the inquiry. Ah, it would not do to allow his mind to 
be distracted; it would not do to let this chance of dis- 
tinguishing himself professionally slip through his fingers! 
He meant to show Inspector Byde that there was one at 
least of the younger men who understood his business. 
Detective Toppin resumed his interrogation of the por- 
tress, and by that sagacious female was introduced in an 
off-hand way to one or two domestics of the establish- 
ment. The process necessitated a disbursement of the 
fee admitted in forensic circles under the designation of 
the "refresher." The coachman and the valet de chambre 
construed "refreshment" in a sense more literal. They 
adjourned with Mr. Toppin to the first turning on the 
left Here they were welcomed with smiles by the tavern- 
keeper's wife, who called them by their Christian names. 
The tavern-keeper asked them how they felt after their 
libations of the previous night, and placed small glasses 
of a dark crimson fluid before them, without waiting for 
their order. Mr. Toppin lingered in the hope of snapping 
up some unconsidered trifle of the conversation. But 
although they all talked freely upon the inevitable topic 
among domestics, "the masters and the mistresses/' 
nothing rewarded his patience but the customary sar- 
casms of the servants' hall. He learnt as much about 
Mrs. Bertram as he could have wished to learn, and 
probably more than was authentic. He failed, however, 
to elicit any substantial information with respect to her 
visitor, Miss Knollys. The character of the majestic 
Mdlle. Lydia could not be expected to escape review 
from acrimonious fellow-servants. She was cold and 


silent, mysterious and disdainful, — "but with all her pru- 
dishness, no better than the rest of us, ailez!" Toppin 
heard these animadversions with annoyance. He did his 
best to change the subject, and succeeded; for the actions 
of that handsome Mdlle. Lydia, pronounced Mr. Toppin 
mentally, could not by any possibility be "material to the 

Toppin was wrong. His colleague, the inspector, 
would have been shocked at the mistake, so gross it was, 
and palpable. In a very different manner would Mr. 
Byde have acted had he been placed in Toppin's situa- 
tion; but Byde himself, in delegating an important branch 
of the inquiry to a subordinate, proved that, as grandpa 
had observed to his friends from London, he was not 
necessarily infallible, although eminent and respected, 
and "one of the best." 

Hastening from the Avenue Marceau, Mdlle. Lydia 
had directed her steps towards a cab-rank in the im- 
mediate vicinity. There she had shown to a cabman the 
lower part of the address upon the envelope; and in an- 
other minute the vehicle containing her was being driven 
rapidly enough in the direction of the Tuileries Gardens. 

The cab stopped at the temporary premises of the 
General Post-Office. The tall figure clad in the plain 
tight-fitting costume alighted quickly from the vehicle, 
and passed through the swinging doors in front of which 
a sentryman was posted. Once inside the building Mdlle. 
Lydia proceeded more leisurely about her errand. It was 
with the poste restante that her business lay. The clerk 
who sat idle at the desk forced her to repeat her appli- 
cation, as he sent an insolent stare into her dark and 
brilliant eyes; and while she wrote her name upon a slip 
of paper for his better comprehension, he coughed in a 


significant manner to attract the notice of his comrades. 
There were no letters waiting at the poste restante for a 
Miss Murdoch — Lydia Murdoch — he replied, after a 
studiously deliberate search. 

The applicant then drew forth the envelope we have 
already seen. It was addressed in a feminine handwrit- 
ing to " Grenville Montague Vyne, Esq.", and in the charge 
of the poste restante employe it was forthwith deposited 
by Miss Knollys's maid. The latter made her way back 
to the swinging doors unconscious of the pleasantries ex- 
changed behind her. To do them full justice, these 
dilapidated clerks of the French Post-Office refrained from 
raising their voices to an unmannerly and compromising 
pitch; and their comments were either in "half-words" 
intelligible to themselves alone, or in broken phrases which, 
if challenged, could be indignantly repudiated with the 
most convincing invocations of personal honour — as usual. 
By the time Miss Murdoch had returned to the 
Avenue Marceau, Toppin was well on his way to the 
Detective Department of the Paris Police, He de la Cite. 
The functionary upon whom he made his call kept him 
kicking his heels in an outer office for a longer period 
than Mr. Toppin thought respectful. 

"Eh bien, Monsieur Toppeen?" demanded the 
functionary in question, in a patronising tone, when he 
at length admitted his visitor to an audience. "What's 
the news — quoi de nouveau?" 

"Anything fresh?" asked Mr. Toppin, insinuating a 
compliment, and stringing his interlocutor's titles together 
with tolerable fluency. 

"Fresh? Well, as you see, the Ministry are good for 
another six weeks. They came through the vote yester- 
day in excellent style." 


"I mean about the night-mail affair — the mysterious 
occurrence in the night-mail from London?" 

"Oh — bien, bien! That little business of the English- 
man — quite so — perfectly! Well?" 

"Whenever you need my help, you know, in the 
difficult process of establishing identities, you know— of 
course, I am not aware how far you may have gone — I 
am at your disposal, Monsieur Hy — quite at your dis- 
posal, you know." 

"Yes, yes — identities — at our disposal, Monsieur 
Toppin — identities — yes, yes! Well, we shall not have to 
trouble you just yet, for the assistance thus amiably 
offered — not just yet — no, mon cher confrere, not yet." 

"Then, up to the present, your men have lighted 
upon no traces?" 

"No traces? Tiens, Hens! — how fast he goes, our .ex- 
cellent and admirable Toppin — how fast, how fast! No 
traces? On the contrary, mon brave — on the contrary, nom 
d'un chien — yes, nom d'un p' tit bonhomme! On the con- 
trary, que diable!" 

"I thought it would be singular, Monsieur Hy, with 
your talents and experience to direct the men." 

"Oh, oh, oh! — ca! — We do what we can — we just do 
what we can! And the health, how goes the health of 
the respectable and valiant confrere, the ingenious, active, 
and invaluable Toppin — the little health, how goes it?" 

"Not too badly," answered Toppin, endeavouring to 
bear up. 

"That's right — that's capital — that's very well. Lap'ttie 
sante'va bien ! — 'oh yes! vayry good,' as you say in English." 

"Well, you know — when you want my services for 
the identities, you know, or any other portion of the in- 
quiry " 


"Identities — yes, yes — identities. Eh bicn, Toppeen 
— looking over what we fancy we have ascertained, I do 
not think, I really do not think, we shall need to call 
upon you, or to disturb you in the least." 

"Indeed! A clue?" 

"A little clue — a little, little, quite a little clue! But 
still" — Monsieur Hy closed his eyes, raised his eyebrows 
as far as they could go, and imitated the sound of an 
effervescent beverage escaping from a bottle — "sufficient!" 

"What! — you have picked out the murderer?" 

"Oho — oho! A rather brutal statement of the pro- 
position, that — tnon ami Toppeen. Too hurried, too hur- 
ried! Affairs like this are not easily decided. You are 
not going to tell me that you get along with such rapidity 
in London. Why, the crime was only committed yester- 
day morning, before daybreak!" 

"Just so," acknowledged Toppin. 

"Well, then!" 

"But — come, come, Monsieur Hy! With all respect 
for your authority, Fm not a novice either. Permit me 
to tell you that if you hold a clue it can be only to one 
of two men, and that if you want a speedy identification 
of them J am the only person who can do it." 

"Two men? Ah, perfectly! — the two men you re- 
ported here yesterday: yes, yes — I have their descriptions 
by me somewhere. The local returns have not yet come 
in, and so far as those individuals are concerned the 
matter stands where it did. No doubt a good many 
travellers arrived in Paris during yesterday and took up 
their quarters at hotels — no doubt, no doubt! That is one 
side of the inquiry, and we shall explore it as a matter 
of course. To go through all the returns, however, select- 
ing the likely cases, and then to attend upon the spot for 


the final inquiries, will require some time. The pre- 
caution will not be neglected, but we need not distress 
ourselves. A day or two more or less, voyons!" 

The speaker shrugged his shoulders and smiled com- 
passionately upon Toppin. 

"You will pardon me, Monsieur Hy, but don't you 
think we shall be giving these two men the opportunity 
to change their quarters and get away?" 

"Oh, they shall not get away! They are foreigners, 
and we have good descriptions of them, through you, 
tnon cher Toppeen. But to be plain with you, excellent 
friend, and fully recognising your commendable vigilance, 
we have looked for the guilty person elsewhere." 

Mr. Toppin offered no response. He knew the capacity of 
the French police for the achievement of astonishing dis- 
coveries as well as for the perpetration of amazing blunders. 

"Yes, we have looked elsewhere," resumed Monsieur 
Hy — "we have looked in another direction, and we have 
found — firstly, a certain person whom you are acquainted 
with yourself, Toppeen, with whom you have been in 
communication, and whom I should advise you, in a 
friendly spirit, just to keep your eye on." 

"Qui ga?" 

"A gentleman who came from London by the night- 
mail, described himself as an English detective officer 
when the train reached Paris, viewed the corpse before the 
arrival of the station commissary, took hasty notes in a 
suspicious manner, and gave a different description of 
himself entirely when he filled up the police-sheet at his 
hotel opposite. A gentleman who wrote down on the 
police-sheet of the hotel that he was a traveller from 
Brighton, in the department of Sussex, and an architect 
by occupation." 



"A gentleman who has since received" — Monsieur Hy 
opened a desk and glanced at a memorandum — "it was 
this very morning, early, to be exact — a telegram, of 
which I need not say we know the contents, and the 
sender's name. A gentleman who knew from the com- 
mencement that suspicion would descend upon certain 
other persons — viz., the two men our laudable Toppeen 
can identify; and a gentleman who carefully refrains from 
acting in concert with the Prefecture, but watches our in- 
vestigations through the loyal, honest confrere always wel- 
come with us, Toppeen!" 

Byde? Inspector Byde? No; this was too much! 
Toppin laughed, loud and long. 

"Hein, hein," continued the gratified functionary, his 
face beaming with approval — "have I hit it, hein\? 
Laugh on — that's nervous, that laugh! I comprehend 
that it should surprise you; but have I hit it?" 

"Of course you see what the supposition implies?" 

"Of course I do." 

"And do you think it probable for a single instant? 
Come now, Monsieur Hy, from colleague to colleague, 
do you mean to tell me that you think it probable that 
a well-known police-officer — and I may as well say at 
once that Byde is one of the most respected men in 
Scotland Yard, the English Surete* — would take advantage 
of accidental circumstances to commit a robbery, and 
not only so, but commit a murder for the sake of robbery?" 

"And do you mean to tell me that you think it im- 
probable? Well, well, Toppeen, mon bon ami, from 
colleague to colleague — we are alone, here — can you look 
at me fixedly in the two eyes and say, knowing what 
you know, that the supposition is extravagant?" 


"On the English side of the Channel — yes; altogether 
extravagant' 1 

"Whereas, on this side?" 

"Oh, I won't permit myself to pass judgment on your 
compatriots, Monsieur Hy! The man we are speaking of 
is a compatriot of my own." 

"Well, then, I will permit myself to pass judgment, 
Monsieur Toppeen. I know my own compatriots, and I 
know human nature, too, I rather flatter myself — and I 
flatter myself that I don't flatter myself unduly. Given 
the temptation, and human nature always yields. But do 
I say that the temptation always arrrays itself in the same 
guise? Not in the least, not in the least. You have to 
find the moment juste, I don't deny it; but for every — 
mark me, every — type and specimen of human nature 
there exists some form or other of temptation which is 
irresistible. Why are your country-people to be considered 
as of superior morality to my own? Do your newspapers 
prove that they are so? Not exactly! Why should this 
Monsieur Byde of necessity escape suspicion?" 

"Then that is your precious clue? You are really 
aiming at Inspector Byde? who, I don't mind adding for 
your information, came over precisely to watch the 
movements of the deceased." 

"Ah, indeed! He came over precisely to watch the 
movements of the deceased? A fact to be noted in the 

Monsieur Hy opened the desk again. He propped 
up the lid, put his head inside the desk, and noted his 
new fact upon a sheet of white foolscap, ruled with 
water lines. Toppin reddened with vexation. 

"But I haven't enlightened you upon our 'secondly,'" 
resumed Monsieur Hy; "and our 'secondly' is serious. 


For, of course, our 'firstly* was but academical conjecture 
— ha, ha, ha! — a case for my volume; my volume — bah! 
a little work I am preparing for the use of the police in 
every country with a civilization — a manual, oui, monsieur, 
a manual on 'The Theory of Surmise in Undetected 
Crime.' " 

"So you have a 'secondly'?" 

"Out, mon bon! and a substantial 'secondly'! other- 
wise — no, don't look at me like that! — otherwise our 
worthy Toppeen would be legitimately suspected — oh, I 
justify it in the 'Theory'! — of connivance in the crime 
by reason of his communications with the suspected 
criminal. Ha, ha, ha! our worthy, zealous, and patriotic 
Toppeen, so anxious that the Surete shall discover the 
two men hiding away in Paris, taken into custody himself, 
cast into the felon's cell, rigidly cross-questioned by a 
juge oV instruction who — we'll take it for granted — doesn't 
like the English, and eventually brought up at the Assizes, 
with his respected confrere, who was a passenger Irom Scot- 
land Yard. Ha, ha, ha! that solemn face would make 
the joke assassinatingly, too exquisitely piercing. What 
a scene! — oh, oh. oh! — with that solemn face! — no, keep 
that solemn face — don't smile ! Ah, mon Dieu ! I thank 
thee for the joy of this. What a rapturous tableau — 
what a deobstruent! Eh, va done, vieux farceur!" 

Monsieur Hy snatched up a long flat ruler, and mirth- 
fully poked Toppin in the ribs with it. Mr. Toppin 
acknowledged the fun with a lugubrious smile. 

"What a pity we can't realize such a scene!" con- 
tinued Monsieur Hy, changing to a mournful tone. "What 
a pity, what a pity! It would make an artistic situation, 
and would ravish the gallery. Officers of the English 
Surete, on the track of criminals, tracked themselves, and 


finally convicted by their colleagues of the French SGreti! 
The man who could do that would be made. / could 
do that. It would be a fine illustration of my 'Theory/ 
part 2, section 8. What an advertisement! Edition upon 
edition of.' The Theory of Surmise in Undetected Crime;' 
and the Legion of Honour for its author, Michel Auguste 
Hy. Ah! what a pity we can't manage it!" 

"Can't you manage it, indeed?" asked Toppin sar- 
castically; for he was nettled. 

"Well, you see, there's our 'secondly,' which is serious. 
We looked at all the possible hypotheses, I should think, 
and the one we have selected seems to be pretty well 
borne out by the researches. What were the main hy- 
potheses? Our journals talk of a drame intime; they are 
always eager to insinuate drames intimes — a family scandal 
or a vengeance. Now, to affirm a family scandal, we 
must know something more about the identity of a victim 
than we can ascertain by means of linen marked with 
only two initials. Then, as to the category of vengeances, 
you have principally those which are inspired by women, 
and those which women carry out. We might have spent 
a great deal of time over matters of this sort, had not 
circumstances helped us to a simpler explanation. We 
say that the present story is the common one of murder 
for the sake of gain. And the assassin? We have him 
— the assassin." 

Monsieur Hy reached across the desk for a newspaper. 

"You have him — in custody?" stammered Toppin. 

"We have him," repeated Monsieur Hy, turning to the 
money article, and apparently perusing it with keen interest. 
"When I say the assassin, of course I don't mean to say 
that he has been brought up before the Seine Assize Court, 
and found guilty by a jury of his fellow-citizens — Three 


per Cent Perpetuals, rise of fiteen centimes; Unified, 
stationary; Portuguese, going up — nor do I mean to say 
that he has yet made his confession. We haven't seriously 
questioned him; we're waiting — waiting till he gets sober." 

Toppin only partially succeeded in dissembling his 

"Banque de Paris, 770; stood at 745 day before 

yesterday. Credit Fonder — good; Credit Lyonnais 

When he gets sober we shall question him. Guess who 
it is! Can't? Why, the guard of the train, mon brave!" 

"What, the English through-guard?" 

"No; the French guard from Calais!" 

"Ah, the French guard from Calais!" 

"Yes. You wouldn't have thought of that?" 

"No; considering that the rings and other valuables 
worn by the victim were not disturbed, and that there 
was a fairly good sum of money in his pocket." 

"Money in his pocket, yes; but how much he had 
about him before he was murdered we don't know. One 
or two of the railway servants fancy they have noticed 
this man at the Gare du Nord as an occasional traveller. 
His appearance is that of an ordinary business man, and 
what sums of money he might travel with we can't 
tell at present. We find that the guard has been long 
enough on the service between Calais and Paris to know 
some of the periodical passengers. These railway affairs 
are becoming scientific, nom d'un chien! The valuables 
and money are of course left as a blind." 

"A case of purely theoretical suspicion, then?" 

"No, because we have the weapon used." 

"Found on the prisoner?" 

"No. If we had found the weapon in his possession 
we might have entertained grave doubts as to his guilt 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 1 3 


Assuming that the crime was committed after the last 
stoppage, viz., Creil, we ordered the line to be searched 
along both sides. The regular guard, being familiar with 
the country, would in all likelihood select a favourable 
spot for ridding himself of the compromising weapon. 
We therefore had the search conducted more particularly 
among the trees which border the line so densely on this 
and the other side of Chantilly. ,, 

"And the weapon has been found already? Quick 
work! But why connect it specially with the guard of 
the train?" 

"We, therefore, in this manner reconstruct the crime: 
The French guard has passed along the footboard of the 
entire train once or twice in the earlier portion of the 
journey to examine the tickets. That forms part of his 
duty, but nothing exists to hinder him from passing back- 
wards and forwards as often and as deliberately as he 
chooses. Very well. In the night he is quite invisible for 
the passengers, but he can plainly see, from his post out- 
side, the whole of the interior of every compartment which 
may not have every one of its blinds closely drawn down. 
The guard notices this passenger alone in the compartment 
The passenger is asleep, or has his eyes closed. Bon I The 
guard has the right of asking for the traveller's ticket 
again, and this right not only accounts for his re-appearance 
at the window while the train is running at full speed, but 
excuses his entry into the carriage itself, if the traveller 
should suddenly discover him. Nom d'une pipe! — what 
happens? He shoots him at his ease, and picks his 
pockets with celerity but discrimination." 

"I don't think," objected Toppin, "that with premedi- 
tation such as that a man would choose a firearm for 
the business." 


"Sure, and clean!" said Monsieur Hy impatiently. 

"And the report?" 

"Covered by the din and rattle of the train. And 
then the gtiard, who knows the line, knows where the 
railway bridges cross it; and at those points the noise 

"And what is your explanation of the scrap of folded 
paper found on the floor — the paper with the address 
on it: Adelaide, care of a London post-office?" 

"Pulled out of the breast-pocket hurriedly, with what- 
ever else was taken from it — pulled out unperceived, and 

Byde's explanation exactly, remembered Toppin. But 
Byde had the best of reasons for his opinion; he believed 
that the breast-pocket had been supposed by the thief 
to contain the Wilmot diamonds. How would the di- 
dactic Hy, who must be ignorant of the Wilmot case, 
explain the rifling of the inner-pocket, whilst everything 
else had apparentliy been left untouched? He put the 

Why, said Monsieur Hy, it was simplicity itself. Either 
the guard had some especial knowledge of this periodical 
voyager by the Northern Railway, in which event they 
need look no farther; or the guard acted upon the 
general proposition that most travellers carry their most 
valuable property in places concealed from common ob- 
servation. What did they perceive in the present case? 
A coat and waistcoat unbuttoned. A pocket in the lining 
of the waistcoat. To shorten the explorations of an ex- 
perienced thief, nothing could have been better designed 
than this capacious pocket in the waistcoat-lining. The 
first thing he looked for* naturally! The stolen property 

consisted either of bank-notes or precious stones, Mon- 



sieur Hy concluded; and the amount must have been 
considerable for all those good rings to have been left 
upon the fingers. 

"Yes, but how do you connect this firearm with the 
guard of the train?" demanded Toppin aggressively. 

"Because it was not found along the line between 
Creil and Paris, but elsewhere. The search along the 
line is still going on, as a matter of routine. But " 

There was a knock at the door. Monsieur Hy inter- 
rupted his exposition to growl "Entrezf" which, not 
being heard, he had to repeat, and which he did more 
loudly repeat, appending a sonorous epithet. A sub- 
ordinate officer entered and saluted. 

" But in the first place we can go back a long 

way in the guard's antecedents, and they are bad. — 
What is it, Duval?" 

The new-comer advanced three steps, handed a note 
to his superior, saluted, and fell back three steps again. 

"And, in the second place, the revolver, recently dis- 
charged, was found hidden away in the prisoner's dwell- 
ing. Then comes the question " 

Monsieur Hy had broken the seal of the envelope, 
and was perusing the missive. 

"Then comes the question, in the third place, whether 
but you can read this for yourself." 

He folded down the upper part of the communica- 
tion, and passed the note across the desk. Toppin 
glanced at the passage indicated. The style was that 
of a succinct report. He read it through twice, and with 
a sigh passed it back to Monsieur Hy. He had there 
read that the bullet which caused the death of the English- 
man lying at the Morgue had been found to correspond 
exactly with the chambers of the firearm hidden on the 


significant manner to attract the notice of his comrades. 
There were no letters waiting at the poste restante for a 
Miss Murdoch — Lydia Murdoch — he replied, after a 
studiously deliberate search. 

The applicant then drew forth the envelope we have 
already seen. It was addressed in a feminine handwrit- 
ing to " Grenville Montague Vyne, Esq.", and in the charge 
of the poste restante employe it was forthwith deposited 
by Miss Knollys's maid. The latter made her way back 
to the swinging doors unconscious of the pleasantries ex- 
changed behind her. To do them full justice, these 
dilapidated clerks of the French Post-Office refrained from 
raising their voices to an unmannerly and compromising 
pitch; and their comments were either in "half-words" 
intelligible to themselves alone, or in broken phrases which, 
if challenged, could be indignantly repudiated with the 
most convincing invocations of personal honour — as usual. 

By the time Miss Murdoch had returned to the 
Avenue Marceau, Toppin was well on his way to the 
Detective Department of the Paris Police, lie de la Cite. 
The functionary upon whom he made his call kept him 
kicking his heels in an outer office for a longer period 
than Mr. Toppin thought respectful. 

"Eh bien, Monsieur Toppeen?" demanded the 
functionary in question, in a patronising tone, when he 
at length admitted his visitor to an audience. "What's 
the news — quoi de nouveau?" 

"Anything fresh?" asked Mr. Toppin, insinuating a 
compliment, and stringing his interlocutor's titles together 
with tolerable fluency. 

"Fresh? Well, as you see, the Ministry are good for 
another six weeks. They came through the vote yester- 
day in excellent style." 


"I mean about the night-mail affair — the mysterious 
occurrence in the night-mail from London?" 

"Oh — bien, bien! That little business of the English- 
man — quite so — perfectly! Well?" 

"Whenever you need my help, you know, in the 
difficult process of establishing identities, you know — of 
course, I am not aware how far you may have gone — I 
am at your disposal, Monsieur Hy — quite at your dis- 
posal, you know." 

"Yes, yes — identities — at our disposal, Monsieur 
Toppin — identities — yes, yes! Well, we shall not have to 
trouble you just yet, for the assistance thus amiably 
offered — not just yet — no, mon cher confrere, not yet." 

"Then, up to the present, your men have lighted 
upon no traces?" 

"No traces? Tiens, Hens! — how fast he goes, our .ex- 
cellent and admirable Toppin — how fast, how fast! No 
traces? On the contrary, mon brave — on the contrary, nom 
d'un chien — yes, nom d'un p'tit bonhommef On the con- 
trary, que diable!" 

"I thought it would be singular, Monsieur Hy, with 
your talents and experience to direct the men." 

"Oh, oh, oh! — ca! — We do what we can — we just do 
what we can! And the health, how goes the health of 
the respectable and valiant confrere, the ingenious, active, 
and invaluable Toppin — the little health, how goes it?" 

"Not too badly," answered Toppin, endeavouring to 
bear up. 

"That's right — that's capital — that's very well. Lap'tite 
sante'va bien ! — 'oh yes ! vayry good/ as you say in English." 

"Well, you know — when you want my services for 
the identities, you know, or any other portion of the in- 
quiry " 


"Identities — yes, yes — identities. Eh bicn, Toppeen 
— looking over what we fancy we have ascertained, I do 
not think, I really do not think, we shall need to call 
upon you, or to disturb you in the least." 

"Indeed! A clue?" 

"A little clue — a little, little, quite a little clue! But 
still" — Monsieur Hy closed his eyes, raised his eyebrows 
as far as they could go, and imitated the sound of an 
effervescent beverage escaping from a bottle — "sufficient!" 

"What! — you have picked out the murderer?" 

"Oho — oho! A rather brutal statement of the pro- 
position, that — mon ami Toppeen. Too hurried, too hur- 
ried! Affairs like this are not easily decided. You are 
not going to tell me that you get along with such rapidity 
in London. Why, the crime was only committed yester- 
jday morning, before daybreak!" 

"Just so," acknowledged Toppin. 

"Well, then!" 

"But — come, come, Monsieur Hy! With all respect 
for your authority, Fm not a novice either. Permit me 
to tell you that if you hold a clue it can be only to one 
of two men, and that if you want a speedy identification 
of them 7 am the only person who can do it." 

"Two men? Ah, perfectly! — the two men you re- 
ported here yesterday: yes, yes — I have their descriptions 
by me somewhere. The local returns have not yet come 
in, and so far as those individuals are concerned the 
matter stands where it did. No doubt a good many 
travellers arrived in Paris during yesterday and took up 
their quarters at hotels — no doubt, no doubt! That is one 
side of the inquiry, and we shall explore it as a matter 
of course. To go through all the returns, however, select- 
ing the likely cases, and then to attend upon the spot for 


the final inquiries, will require some time. The pre- 
caution will not be neglected, but we need not distress 
ourselves. A day or two more or less, voyons!" 

The speaker shrugged his shoulders and smiled com- 
passionately upon Toppin. 

"You will pardon me, Monsieur Hy, but don't you 
think we shall be giving these two men the opportunity 
to change their quarters and get away?" 

"Oh, they shall not get away! They are foreigners, 
and we have good descriptions of them, through you, 
mon cher Toppeen, But to be plain with you, excellent 
friend, and fully recognising your commendable vigilance, 
we have looked for the guilty person elsewhere." 

Mr. Toppin offered no response. He knew the capacity of 
the French police for the achievement of astonishing dis- 
coveries as well as for the perpetration of amazing blunders. 

"Yes, we have looked elsewhere," resumed Monsieur 
Hy — "we have looked in another direction, and we have 
found — firstly, a certain person whom you are acquainted 
with yourself, Toppeen, with whom you have been in 
communication, and whom I should advise you, in a 
friendly spirit, just to keep your eye on." 

"Qui get?" 

"A gentleman who came from London by the night- 
mail, described himself as an English detective officer 
when the train reached Paris, viewed the corpse before the 
arrival of the station commissary, took hasty notes in a 
suspicious manner, and gave a different description of 
himself entirely when he filled up the police-sheet at his 
hotel opposite. A gentleman who wrote down on the 
police-sheet of the hotel that he was a traveller from 
Brighton, in the department of Sussex, and an architect 
by occupation." 



"A gentleman who has since received" — Monsieur Hy 
opened a desk and glanced at a memorandum — "it was 
this very morning, early, to be exact — a telegram, of 
which I need not say we know the contents, and the 
sender's name. A gentleman who knew from the com- 
mencement that suspicion would descend upon certain 
other persons — viz., the two men our laudable Toppeen 
can identify; and a gentleman who carefully refrains from 
acting in concert with the Prefecture, but watches our in- 
vestigations through the loyal, honest confrere always wel- 
come with us, Toppeen!" 

Byde? Inspector Byde? No; this was too much! 
Toppin laughed, loud and long. 

" Hein, hein,' 3 continued the gratified functionary, his 
face beaming with approval — "have I hit it, hein\? 
Laugh on — that's nervous, that laugh! I comprehend 
that it should surprise you; but have I hit it?" 

"Of course you see what the supposition implies?" 

"Of course I do." 

"And do you think it probable for a single instant? 
Come now, Monsieur Hy, from colleague to colleague, 
do you mean to tell me that you think it probable that 
a well-known police-officer — and I may as well say at 
once that Byde is one of the most respected men in 
Scotland Yard, the English Surety — would take advantage 
of accidental circumstances to commit a robbery, and 
not only so, but commit a murder for the sake of robbery?" 

"And do you mean to tell me that you think it im- 
probable? Well, well, Toppeen, mon bon ami, from 
colleague to colleague — we are alone, here — can you look 
at me fixedly in the two eyes and say, knowing what 
you know, that the supposition is extravagant?" 


"On the English side of the Channel — yes; altogether 

"Whereas, on this side?" 

"Oh, I won't permit myself to pass judgment on your 
compatriots, Monsieur Hy! The man we are speaking of 
is a compatriot of my own." 

"Well, then, I will permit myself to pass judgment, 
Monsieur Toppeen. I know my own compatriots, and I 
know human nature, too, I rather flatter myself — and I 
flatter myself that I don't flatter myself unduly. Given 
the temptation, and human nature always yields. But do 
I say that the temptation always arrrays itself in the same 
guise? Not in the least, not in the least. You have to 
find the moment juste, I don't deny it; but for every — 
mark me, every — type and specimen of human nature 
there exists some form or other of temptation which is 
irresistible. Why are your country-people to be considered 
as of superior morality to my own? Do your newspapers 
prove that they are so? Not exactly! Why should this 
Monsieur Byde of necessity escape suspicion?" 

"Then that is your precious clue? You are really 
aiming at Inspector Byde? who, I don't mind adding for 
your information, came over precisely to watch the 
movements of the deceased." 

"Ah, indeed! He came over precisely to watch the 
movements of the deceased? A fact to be noted in the 

Monsieur Hy opened the desk again. He propped 
up the lid, put his head inside the desk, and noted his 
new fact upon a sheet of white foolscap, ruled with 
water lines. Toppin reddened with vexation. 

"But 1 haven't enlightened you upon our 'secondly,"' 
resumed Monsieur Hy; "and our 'secondly' is serious! 




For, of course, our 'firstly' was but academical conjecture 
— ha, ha, ha! — a case for my volume; my volume — bah! 
a little work I am preparing for the use of the police in 
every country with a civilization — a manual, out, monsieur, 
a manual on 'The Theory of Surmise in Undetected 

"So you have a 'secondly'?" 

"Out, mon bonf and a substantial 'secondly'! other- 
wise — no, don't look at me like that! — otherwise our 
worthy Toppeen would be legitimately suspected — oh, I 
justify it in the 'Theory'! — of connivance in the crime 
by reason of his communications with the suspected 
criminal. Ha, ha, ha! our worthy, zealous, and patriotic 
Toppeen, so anxious that the Surete" shall discover the 
two men hiding away in Paris, taken into custody himself, 
cast into the felon's cell, rigidly cross-questioned by a 
juge d' instruction who — we'll take it for granted — doesn't 
like the English, and eventually brought up at the Assizes, 
with his respected confrere, who was a passenger Irom Scot- 
land Yard. Ha, ha, ha! that solemn face would make 
the joke assassinatingly, too exquisitely piercing. What 
a scene! — oh, oh, oh! — with that solemn face! — no, keep 
that solemn face — don't smile ! Ah, mon Dieu ! I thank 
thee for the joy of this. What a rapturous tableau — 
what a deobstruent! Eh, va done, vieux farceur!" 

Monsieur Hy snatched up a long flat ruler, and mirth- 
fully poked Toppin in the ribs with it. Mr. Toppin 
acknowledged the fun with a lugubrious smile. 

"What a pity we can't realize such a scene!" con- 
tinued Monsieur Hy, changing to a mournful tone. "What 
a pity, what a pity! It would make an artistic situation, 
and would ravish the gallery. Officers of the English 
Surete, on the track of criminals, tracked themselves, and 


finally convicted by their colleagues of the French Surete! 
The man who could do that would be made. / could 
do that. It would be a fine illustration of my 'Theory/ 
part 2, section 8. What an advertisement! Edition upon 
edition of. 'The Theory of Surmise in Undetected Crime;' 
and the Legion of Honour for its author, Michel Auguste 
Hy. Ah! what a pity we can't manage it!" 

"Can't you manage it, indeed?" asked Toppin sar- 
castically; for he was nettled. 

"Well, you see, there's our 'secondly,' which is serious. 
We looked at all the possible hypotheses, I should think, 
and the one we have selected seems to be pretty well 
borne out by the researches. What were the main- hy- 
potheses? Our journals talk of a drame intitne; they are 
always eager to insinuate dratnes intimes — a family scandal 
or a vengeance. Now, to affirm a family scandal, we 
must know something more about the identity of a victim 
than we can ascertain by means of linen marked with 
only two initials. Then, as to the category of vengeances, 
you have principally those which are inspired by women, 
and those which women carry out. We might have spent 
a great deal of time over matters of this sort, had not 
circumstances helped us to a simpler explanation. We 
say that the present story is the common one of murder 
for the sake of gain. And the assassin? We have him 
— the assassin." 

Monsieur Hy reached across the desk for a newspaper. 

"You have him — in custody?" stammered Toppin. 

"We have him," repeated Monsieur Hy, turning to the 
money article, and apparently perusing it with keen interest. 
"When I say the assassin, of course I don't mean to say 
that he has been brought up before the Seine Assize Court, 
and found guilty by a jury of his fellow-citizens — Three 


per Cent Perpetuals, rise of fiteen centimes; Unified, 
stationary; Portuguese, going up — nor do I mean to say 
that he has yet made his confession. We haven't seriously 
questioned him; we're waiting — waiting till he gets sober." 

Toppin only partially succeeded in dissembling his 

"Banque de Paris, 770; stood at 745 day before 

yesterday. Credit Foncier — good; Credit Lyonnais 

When he gets sober we shall question him. Guess who 
it is! Can't? Why, the guard of the train, mon brave!" 

"What, the English through-guard?" 

"No; the French guard from Calais!" 

"Ah, the French guard from Calais!" 

"Yes. You wouldn't have thought of that?" 

"No; considering that the rings and other valuables 
worn by the victim were not disturbed, and that there 
was a fairly good sum of money in his pocket." 

"Money in his pocket, yes; but how much he had 
about him before he was murdered we don't know. One 
or two of the railway servants fancy they have noticed 
this man at the Gare du Nord as an occasional traveller. 
His appearance is that of an ordinary business man, and 
what sums of money he might travel with we can't 
tell at present. We find that the guard has been long 
enough on the service between Calais and Paris to know 
some of the periodical passengers. These railway affairs 
are becoming scientific, nom d'un chien! The valuables 
and money are of course left as a blind." 

"A case of purely theoretical suspicion, then?" 

"No, because we have the weapon used." 

"Found on the prisoner?" 

"No. If we had found the weapon in his possession 
we might have entertained grave doubts as to his guilt 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 1 3 


Assuming that the crime was committed after the last 
stoppage, viz., Creil, we ordered the line to be searched 
along both sides. The regular guard, being familiar with 
the country, would in all likelihood select a favourable 
spot for ridding himself of the compromising weapon. 
We therefore had the search conducted more particularly 
among the trees which border the line so densely on this 
and the other side of Chantilly." 

"And the weapon has been found already? Quick 
work! But why connect it specially with the guard of 
the train?" 

"We, therefore, in this manner reconstruct the crime: 
The French guard has passed along the footboard of the 
entire train once or twice in the earlier portion of the 
journey to examine the tickets. That forms part of his 
duty, but nothing exists to hinder him from passing back- 
wards and forwards as often and as deliberately as he 
chooses. Very well. In the night he is quite invisible for 
the passengers, but he can plainly see, from his post out- 
side, the whole of the interior of every compartment which 
may not have every one of its blinds closely drawn down. 
The guard notices this passenger alone in the compartment. 
The passenger is asleep, or has his eyes closed. Bon! The 
guard has the right of asking for the traveller's ticket 
again, and this right not only accounts for his re-appearance 
at the window while the train is running at full speed, but 
excuses his entry into the carriage itself, if the traveller 
should suddenly discover him. Nom <Fune pipe! — what 
happens? He shoots him at his ease, and picks his 
pockets with celerity but discrimination." 

"I don't think," objected Toppin, "that with premedi- 
tation such as that a man would choose a firearm for 
the business." 


"Sure, and clean!" said Monsieur Hy impatiently. 

"And the report?" 

"Covered by the din and rattle of the train. And 
then the gtiard, who knows the line, knows where the 
railway bridges cross it; and at those points the noise 

"And what is your explanation of the scrap of folded 
paper found on the floor — the paper with the address 
on it: Adelaide, care of a London post-office?" 

"Pulled out of the breast-pocket hurriedly, with what- 
ever else was taken from it — pulled out unperceived, and 

Byde's explanation exactly, remembered Toppin. But 
Ityde had the best of reasons for his opinion; he believed 
that the breast-pocket had been supposed by the thief 
to contain the Wilmot diamonds. How would the di- 
dactic Hy, who must be ignorant of the Wilmot case, 
explain the rifling of the inner-pocket, whilst everything 
else had apparently been left untouched? He put the 

Why, said Monsieur Hy, it was simplicity itself. Either 
the guard had some especial knowledge of this periodical 
voyager by the Northern Railway, in which event they 
need look no farther; or the guard acted upon the 
general proposition that most travellers carry their most 
valuable property in places concealed from common ob- 
servation. What did they perceive in the present case? 
A coat and waistcoat unbuttoned. A pocket in the lining 
of the waistcoat. To shorten the explorations of an ex- 
perienced thief, nothing could have been better designed 
than this capacious pocket in the waistcoat-lining. The 
first thing he looked for, naturally! The stolen property 
consisted either of bank-notes or precious stones, Mon- 



sieur Hy concluded; and the amount must have been 
considerable for all those good rings to have been left 
upon the fingers. 

"Yes, but how do you connect this firearm with the 
guard of the train?" demanded Toppin aggressively. 

"Because it was not found along the line between 
Creil and Paris, but elsewhere. The search along the 
line is still going on, as a matter of routine. But " 

There was a knock at the door. Monsieur Hy inter- 
rupted his exposition to growl "Entrez!" which, not 
being heard, he had to repeat, and which he did more 
loudly repeat, appending a sonorous epithet. A sub- 
ordinate officer entered and saluted. 

" But in the first place we can go back a long 

way in the guard's antecedents, and they are bad. — 
What is it, Duval?" 

The new-comer advanced three steps, handed a note 
to his superior, saluted, and fell back three steps again. 

"And, in the second place, the revolver, recently dis- 
charged, was found hidden away in the prisoner's dwell- 
ing. Then comes the question " 

Monsieur Hy had broken the seal of the envelope, 
and was perusing the missive. 

"Then comes the question, in the third place, whether 
but you can read this for yourself." 

He folded down the upper part of the communica- 
tion, and passed the note across the desk. Toppin 
glanced at the passage indicated. The style was that 
of a succinct report. He read it through twice, and with 
a sigh passed it back to Monsieur Hy. He had there 
read that the bullet which caused the death of the English- 
man lying at the Morgue had been found to correspond 
exactly with the chambers of the firearm hidden on the 


premises of the man now in custody — the French guard 
of the train. 


The telegram to which Monsieur Hy had referred in 
his conversation with Toppin was, as a matter of fact, a 
message to Inspector Byde from the Criminal Investiga- 
tion Department, Scotland Yard. It apprised the in- 
spector of an important proceeding on the part of the 
Mr. Sinclair who was arrested at Dover. Sinclair had 
affirmed and re-affirmed his innocence, had demanded 
that writing materials should be furnished to him with- 
out delay, and had then curtly refused altogether to 
reply. He had no explanations to make, he had said; 
he had already reiterated the declaration of his innocence; 
and he "should not stoop to make any further responses." 
He had immediately availed himself of the writing mate- 
rials, however, remarking that he wished particularly to 
catch the next mail from Dover to the Continent. The 
letter which he had handed over to the local authorities 
for transmission by the post bore a Paris address. It 
had been duly forwarded, and in the ordinary course of 
things should have been delivered in Paris the same 
evening. The direction was to the Avenue Marceau, 
No. 95, A ux Soins de Madame Bertram. The recipient 
was a Miss Knollys. Would the inspector see to this? 
concluded the telegram. 

Thus it happened that not long after the departure 
of Detective Toppin from the Avenue Marceau, Mr. In- 
spector Byde presented himself at the residence of Mrs. 
Bertram, No. 95. Madame Bertram was not at home, 
answered the concierge — at least she believed not. Mon- 


sieur could ascertain for himself, if he chose to take the 
trouble to mount two flights of stairs. The suite tenanted 
by Madame Bertram was "on the second." There was 
a lift; monsieur knew how to manage it without doubt? 
Mdlle. Knollys? oh, yes — a young English lady visiting 
Madame Bertram — recently arrived from London. Mdlle. 
Knollys was not at home either, believed the concierge. 
She had been taken with an indisposition on the previous 
evening, and would not be at home to anybody. 

The inspector had arranged his programme before 
leaving the hotel, and this answer, which he had ex- 
tracted from the portress by the disbursement of a five- 
franc piece, placed him in readiness for his reception 
"on the second," at the private apartments of Madame 

"I should recommend you to make quite sure that 
Mdlle. Knollys is not at home at this moment ," said he 
in his panache* French, with its three dialects. "Take 
my card, and remember that it is Mdlle. Knollys, not 
Madame Bertram, whom I wish to see. I am in no 
hurry, and can wait whilst you are prosecuting your in- 
quiries in the household." 

The footman was the free-and-easy individual who 
had been imbibing with the coachman an hour or two 
earlier at Mr. Toppin's expense. He had since then had 
time to don his morning livery, and to tone down his 
complexion, and to arch his eyebrows as a well-paid and 
well-nourished footman, who has served in good establish- 
ments, and entertains respect for his employers, ought to 
learn to arch them permanently. He measured Mr. Byde 
with the disdainful sweep of the regard with only foot- 
men, fashionable beauties, and illiterate millionnaires can 
practise to perfection. The look should have withered 



the inspector, but unfortunately for its success that gentle- 
man habitually took no notice of such manifestations as 
the superb attitude, the haughty stare, the frigid manner, 
and the crushing retort. It is true that he was not at all 
a diffident, sensitive, or feeble person. Although a man 
of worth, he was perhaps but a superior sort of peremptory 
sergeant, a very shrewd policeman with the political dis- 
regard of any weapon that might not be positively lethal. 
And nevertheless there are men of worth, and women, 
too, strange to say, whom the direct menace of the lethal 
weapon will affect less keenly than any footman's jeer or 
any courtesan's insult, the triumphal march of any illiterate 
millionnaire, or the cold scorn of any handsome woman 
who, in her lounge through flowery meads of life, has 
not yet chanced to encounter the variola. 

Inspector Byde enclosed his card within an envelope. 
The latter would easily open, being freshly gummed, he 
observed to the domestic; at the same time he would 
strongly advise him not to open it in the kitchen before 
delivering it to his mistress, for Miss Knollys. Measuring 
his interlocutor with another proud look, a look which a 
false Continental marquess standing on his dignity might 
have envied, the domestic vouchsafed a few contemptuous 
syllables to the effect that the strange visitor had ap- 
parently mistaken his whereabouts. 

"Allons done!" interrupted the inspector, a little 
brutally. "Do you think I don't know the servants' hall?" 

The astonished footman looked twice at the cut of 
the inspector's clothes. 

"It's a foreigner, Marotte," said he to the cook when 
he reached the kitchen; "but where he comes from I 
can't make out. Sometimes he speaks like a Marseillais, 
sometimes like a Swiss. The concierge must have told 


him that our people are at home, for he insists. What's 
to be done with this card? Madame will be angry if I 
say the person is waiting while I take it in." 

"You should not have allowed the person to wait. 
You had your orders, had you not?" 

"Well, I don't know how it happened, but he had a 
manner! Not a person of the best world, I should say; 
but still he had a manner !" 

Marotte suggested that he should refer to the English 
maid, who had returned from her walk some time ago. 
Lydia Murdoch betrayed some surprise at the sight of 
the superscription. It was impossible, however, for her 
to express any opinion, she commented. She could not 
say who the visitor might be. Thereupon the simple 
process familiar to the servants' hall, as well as to the 
cabinet noir of certain Governments, was neatly and ex- 
peditiously performed. 

It was his professional card that the inspector had 
enclosed within the envelope. The lines engraved upon 
it might have been Chaldaic writings for the eyes that 
now glanced over them, — except for the eyes of Lydia 
Murdoch. For Lydia Murdoch they were assuredly full 
of significance. 

"You had better convey the card to mademoiselle," 
she said briefly. 

Inspector Byde waited with the utmost patience, the 
delay convincing him that the "not at home" was no 
more than the conveniently untrue formula of ordinary 
usage. If after this delay, he pondered, the "not at 
at home" should be persisted in, despite the announce- 
ment of his visit in professional capacity, there would be 
not a bad ground for assuming, just inferentially, that the 
original supposition was being confirmed. 


The original supposition had been, had it not? that 
young Mr. Sinclair, formerly Mr. Wilmot's private se- 
cretary, and suddenly dismissed a few months ago, was 
the actual thief in this matter of the diamonds, and that 
he had acted with some party, then unknown, whose 
office in the undertaking was to receive the property 
from him and to realize it. A vague suspicion had fallen 
upon Remington, the circumstances of whose death might 
possibly be held to justify that suspicion. But it had also 
been on the cards that the abstracted property, notwith- 
standing its exceptional value, had been despatched like 
a common parcel by Sinclair himself, or by some con- 
federate, unknown, to an address in Paris, where it would 
be subsequently recovered. Now, he had learnt through 
the wire that Sinclair had been searched at Dover, and 
that the property had not been found upon him. Putting 
on one side for the moment the murder of Mr. Remington 
in the night-mail and the rifling of the breast-pocket — 
and the misdeed might, after all, have been fruitlessly 
committed — suppose that the original conjecture were 
the accurate one, and that the parcel had been forwarded 
in the simplest manner to the Miss Knollys, of No. 95, 
Avenue Marceau, to whom it had been Sinclair's first 
thought, after his arrest, to write? Improbable — because 
the superscription upon his letter gave the police the 
clue? Not in the least improbable! It was important for 
him to communicate with the Avenue Marceau: was he 
not expected to arrive in Paris by the night-mail? A 
prompt telegram from him to the Paris address would of 
course attract attention; a letter might just possibly 
escape notice. The letter might be couched in perfectly 
commonplace terms, and yet might convey to its recipient 
both a warning and instructions. Or — it need not have 


been actually to this address that the parcel was con- 
signed; it would be quite sufficient, for the theory, that 
the address to which the parcel had been consigned was 
known to some pne here. But had this place the air of 
a receiver's premises? 

Judging by the apartment into which he had been 
ushered, the lady of the house must be in the enjoyment 
of considerable opulence. The vestibule, encumbered 
with evergreen plants and the few hardy blossoms of the 
season, had had the aspect of a carpeted conservatory as 
he passed through. The lofty apartment in which he 
was now seated reminded him of an antiquary's cabinet 
as much as of anything else. Across the walls here and 
there hung portions of old Flanders tapestry, the adven- 
tures of Ixion which they had once depicted in tones 
warm and rich having since become problematical, owing 
to the ravages of moths, and to the decolourizations of 
time. A curious old cabinet, with little columns of lapis- 
lazuli, stood at one end of the room; and a large Venetian 
mirror, with a frame of quaint carving, formed another 
conspicuous ornament. The chairs were Louis Treize; 
and half a hundred smaller articles completed the main 
effect. With dry logs blazing cheerfully on almost a bare 
hearth, it seemed a pity that the mantelpiece should 
mark the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 

From his contemplation of this interior Mr. Inspector 
Byde was roused by the reappearance of the servant who 
had first answered his summons. Mdlle. Knollys had 
been slightly indisposed since the previous evening, but 
would receive the gentleman whose card had been en- 
closed to her. The next minute Mr. Byde was shown 
into a luxurious drawing-room, and, as he entered, two 


ladies rose to their feet. Yes! they were the ladies who 
had visited the Morgue. 

"Miss Knollys?" said the inspector inquiringly. 
"Any commmunication you may have to make to me 
may be freely made in the presence of this lady, Mrs. 
Bertram, my friend," replied the younger of the two, in a 
low voice. 

"My business relates to a matter which concerns your- 
self intimately," hazarded the inspector. "I have received 
the fullest information from London on the subject, but 
have deemed it only proper to place myself in direct 
communication with you, Miss Knollys. I am aware that 
I have no right to intrude upon you here; I am here 
only by your courtesy. As you have been good enough 
to receive me, however, let me beg you, in your own 
interests, to facilitate, as far as you can do so, the inquiry 
I am engaged upon for Scotland Yard. My business 
relates to your acquaintance with Austin Wortley Sinclair, 
now 'wanted* by the police on a charge of diamond 

"Mr. Sinclair must be the victim of an absurd mis- 
take!" exclaimed the young lady. "The whole occur- 
rence is inconceivable! Mr. Sinclair is either the victim 
of a perfectly ridiculous blunder — a stupid, idiotic piece 

of misunderstanding, or else ," she stopped, and 

twisted her handkerchief nervously, "or else of heartless 
malice — the most cruel, cruel, vindictive malice!" 
She burst into tears. 

"Oh, Adela! — my poor child!" murmured the elder 
lady moving to her side. 

Mr. Inspector Byde repeated the syllables mentally 
two or three times, in the hope of lighting upon the 


diapason. The name seemed to set some chord of his 
memory in vibration, but for the moment he could not 
single it out "Adelaide" had been the name scrawled 
on the slip of paper found on the floor of the compart- 
ment occupied by the murdered man. That fact, however, 
had remained quite prominently before the inspector's 
mind, and it did not at all correspond to the faint re- 
miniscence now abruptly evoked. Miss Adela Knollys — 
Adela — Adela? A pretty state of things, thought the in- 
spector with a twinge of real alarm, if the very best of 
his professional instruments, his memory, should be be- 
ginning to fail him! His countenance betrayed so acute 
an inward trouble that the lady of the house softened as 
she turned to speak to him, and her tone was milder 
than perhaps she had intended. 

"Is it absolutely necessary that you should put any 
questions to Miss Knollys? She is not at all well, as you 
can see; is it absolutely necessary that you should torture 
her with questions?" 

"I shall be sorry to cause the young lady any pain, 
and, if she wishes, the conversation can be deferred. I 
am entirely at your disposal; but — it might be better, it 
might be really better " 

"You must call again," said Mrs. Bertram; "I cannot 
see the poor child persecuted in this way. At any rate, 
she shall not be persecuted in this gratuitous manner 
while she remains in my house, under my care. I don't 
know how my address came into your possession; and I 
am not at all sure that we are acting wisely in receiv- 
ing you." 

"As you think best, madam," returned the inspector, 
very politely, and rising from the chair to which he had 
been motioned. A pause ensued. The hostess bent 


over the figure of the young girl, who was weeping 
silently, and whispered some soothing words to her. 
The sincerity of this emotion and the charm of this 
feminine sympathy went to a soft place in the inspector's 
heart. He drew back a step or two, and then hesitated. 
"When may I wait upon you again?" he asked in a 
sepulchral voice, which, to tell the truth, was rather un- 
steady, and needed his short, dry cough at the close. 

"Oh, let this gentleman remain !" said the young girl, 
speaking with her face averted, and with her handker- 
chief still pressed to her eyes. "How weak of me to 
give way!" 

"Do you think you can bear it, dear?" 

"Yes — oh yes! And he will tell me of Oh, it 

is wicked of them — wicked, wicked ! " 

"It must be a mistake," said Mrs. Bertram gently. 

She glanced towards the visitor, and smiled. The 
inspector moved back to his chair, coughed again some- 
what huskily, and sat down. 

"Tell me about Mr. Sinclair!" exclaimed the young 
girl impulsively, dropping her handkerchief, and turning 
to face the gentleman from Scotland Yard. 

"He is 'wanted/" said Mr. Byde. 

"What does that mean?" 

"'Wanted' by the police, on the charge I told you of." 

"Why, he wrote to us that he was in prison! He 
wrote to us from Dover. The police arrested him at the 
Dover railway-station. Did you not know that?" 

"Oh, really — they have found him, have they? My 
information is from London, and deals more particularly 
with the circumstances of the robbery. Ah, they have 
found him?" The professional habit of laying traps had 
been too much for Inspector Byde, and he had yielded 


to it, in spite of his sensibility of the minute before. 
However, he need not anticipate concealment in this in- 
stance, it seemed. There were no wiles to be combated. 

"Found him!" both ladies had the air of indignantly 
repeating. "Mr. Sinclair could have had no notion what- 
ever that his whereabouts were being sought for," replied 
Mrs. Bertram; "he was the last man to evade search or 
inquiry — the very last!" 

"Yes, indeed!" concurred Miss Knollys warmly. 

"We received a letter from him last night. He wrote 
from Dover to say that on his way here by the night- 
mail he had been arrested on an absurd charge of diamond 
robbery, and that, without wishing to alarm us, he was 
afraid from what he had been able to ascertain that ap- 
pearances were somehow or other very strong against 
him, and might place him in an extremely serious posi- 
tion. If we felt quite free to communicate some family 
matters to you, Mr. Byde, you would at once understand 
the situation of great delicacy which an event of this 
kind creates for Miss Knollys." 

"Dear Mrs. Bertram!" exclaimed the young girl, em- 
bracing her friend enthusiastically, "we know that we 
may count on you, and I am ungrateful to forget how 
much I myself owe to your kind aid. But I feel that my 
own position is nothing compared to the dreadful one 
into which poor Austin has been thrown — just at this 
moment, too! It must be very much more grave than we 
can imagine, for him to have acknowledged to us that 
the affair was in the least degree serious. Poor fellow! 
what a humiliation for him, and what a misfortune — and 
just at this moment! Poor Austin!" 

A tear still sparkled upon the long eye-lashes. The 
inspector noted that the young lady began to twist her 


lace handkerchief again. He transferred his gaze to the 
nearest oil-painting on the walls, and studied with great 
intentness a blurred rainbow in the "Passing Shower," 
treated unconventionally. When he ventured to look back, 
the symptoms had disappeared and the compressed lips 
were relaxing. It was ill taste in him, reflected the in- 
spector, to stare at Miss Knollys so persistently. But as 
she sat there facing him, he did not think he could have 
seen in all his life a prettier picture than this fair-haired 
English girl, with her flushed cheeks, her frank and clear 
gray eyes, her dark, decided eyebrows, the chaste and 
sweet expression of her mouth. Trifles — trifles! — the in- 
spector's even judgment suddenly reminded his indulgent 
sense. Well, not exactly trifles, if you liked, but acci- 
dents of nature, not implying merit in the individual, 
and quite unconnected with considerations as to com- 
plicity in an indictable offence. Mrs. Byde had never 
been half so good-looking as this young lady; but he 
would defy you to discover a truer heart and kinder 
nature, the whole world through, than Mrs. Byde's. And 
then as to looks — 

"Where's the sense, direct and moral, 
That teeth are pearl, or lips are coral? " 

Mr. Byde, who loved to improve himself, had committed 
to memory this and other couplets out of "The Progress 
of the Mind." "Come, come! Let us get back to the 
Wilmot case," urged Mr. Byde mentally. 

"Pray excuse me, ladies," he resumed, "but my duty 
obliges me to address a direct question or two which 
you may look upon, at first sight, as unwarranted by the 
circumstances of my presence here. I have to ask Miss 
Knollys, to begin with, what is the nature of her acquaint- 
ance with Mr. Sinclair?" 


The two ladies exchanged glances. 

"Can I answer that, do you think?" demanded Miss 
Knollys, a little timidly, of her friend. 

"/ should not answer it, my dear," was the response. 
"It cannot possibly concern this gentleman, or this gentle- 
man's employers." 

"What did you understand to be the object of Mr. 
Sinclair's journey to the Continent?" proceeded the visitor. 

"He was coming here to enter upon an appointment 
as secretary which I had procured for him through private 
channels," replied Mrs. Bertram. 

"And can you account for his haunting the Park 
Lane residence of Mr. Stanislas Wilmot for several nights 
* previous to the robbery; for his disappearance imme- 
diately after the robbery; and for his attempt to get 
away to the Continent unnoticed by the night-mail?" 

The ladies again exchanged glances, and a slight 
blush deepened the rose upon Miss Adela's cheeks. 

"I can perhaps account for Mr. Sinclair's being 
frequently in the neighbourhood of Mr. Wilmot's house," 
she said, after some embarrassment and with the sugges- 
tion of a shy smile; "but if he 'disappeared,' as you 
state, it was most likely before the robbery, not after- 
wards. I cannot imagine that he could have the least 
appearance of desiring to leave England unperceived; 
and the train he travelled by had been selected, not by 
himself, but by me." 

"I must now ask whether you are acquainted in any 
way with the owner of the stolen property, Mr. Stanislas 

"Mr. Wilmot is my relative, and my guardian," 
replied the young lady. 

Adela! Of course! He found the chord now, though 


not the full diapason. The dead man, Remington, had 
pronounced the name when relating to his fellow- 
passengers certain details in the mysterious diamond 
robbery at the Park Lane house. Remington had told 
them that old Stanislas Wilmot lived there with his 
niece, Miss Adela. How was he, Byde, to know of any 
difference in the surnames? Sergeant Bell had omitted 
to furnish him with this point either when he, Byde, 
hurriedly took up the case, or through the post since. 
Such negligence was perfectly disgusting. How could he 
make progress if the whole of the facts were not reported 
to him? And suppose he had drifted into a blunder? It 
was ever so. You did your best, and half the time you 
were hampered by others. You were at the mercy of 
some careless or conceited subordinate, who either had 
not the faculty for picking up little points or else dis- 
criminated for himself very sagely amongst the details, 
and left out whatever it might please him to consider 
unimportant — as if in their business there were any 
such things as unimportant details! Who could say upon 
what ostensibly insignificant item an investigation might 
not turn! The door and the doorway might be in the 
same material; might be more or less massive, and might 
be in contact or out of it; but they were separate objects, 
requiring for their absolute co-relation, you might say, 
the hinge; and the hinge was nearly always in a different 
substance, of bulk insignificant as compared with the 
two objects it connected. What might be the other 
valueless matters, he wondered, which Sergeant Bell had 
omitted to report to him? 

It was in this way that the best of officers might be 
sent off on wrong tacks, and possibly forfeit their reputa- 
tions. Had it been his own fault in the great Temperance 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 1 4 


scandal that Well, well! we should see! And they 

should see, also, those Temperance people, who since 
that affair had never been able to let him alone in their 
snarling and canting newspaper. He knew well enough 

certain members of the flock whose goings on well, 

well! time would show. For the present the inspector's 
thoughts reverted grimly to the case of Brother Neel. 

"Miss Knollys has usually been spoken of as the 
niece of Mr. Wilmot," remarked the hostess. "That is 
not their relationship. Nor was she a poor relation of 
his wife's, as he appears to have given out. He was a 
cousin of her mother's, and had always managed her 
mother's investments. Mr. Wilmot is a very clever man; 
and her mother named him in her will as Adela's guar- 
dian, and left everything in his hands. So like her, that 
was!" added Mrs. Bertram, with a deprecating little smile 
to Miss Knollys, "so like your poor mother, my dear. 
She trusted everyone, and was utterly thoughtless in all 
her own money matters. I don't believe she had the 
slightest notion as to the extent of her means when your 
father's fatal accident left her so suddenly a widow. 
Stanislas Wilmot offered his assistance — most generously, 
she said: a little too eagerly, I thought myself — and in 
the end she allowed him to dispose of everything. It 
always struck me that he had contrived the quarrel be- 
tween your poor mother and her husband's family, 
although, to be sure, they were a disagreeable, tuft-hunt- 
ing set. Her own brother showed the very greatest 
promise, but he died, as you know, in India, when you 
were a very little girl. As for her two elder sisters, your 
aunts Eglantine and Amelia, they have always been the 
most frivolous creatures in the world, and the last time I 
saw them — you will forgive me for saying so, my dear — 


I really thought that they were the silliest women of 
their age I had ever, ever met." 

"They are certainly very helpless," acquiesced Miss 
Knollys; "and I am afraid it is no more than the truth 
to add that they are rather selfish and unkind. It was 
hard to think that I could not look to them for aid in 
my difficult position." 

"So that Mr. Wilmot has been able to dispose of the 
money-matters exactly as he liked. And I always thought, 
you know, Adela, that he intended to dispose of you 

Miss Knollys made no answer. 

"Well, heaven knows what may be the condition of 
your affairs — whether you have a farthing or a fortune!" 

"Oh, I have felt so glad, so delighted, to be away 
from him that I would have relinquished all I may be 
entitled to, if there is anything, for the mere sake of 
never seeing him again, and never hearing from him. 
Austin would not like me to accept anything either — I 
know he would not" 

"That is all nonsense, dear! You are entitled to 
what is your own, and in the spring, when you come of 
age, your guardian will have to give it up. Whether he 
likes it or not, he will be bound to make a full restitu- 
tion of what belongs to you." 

"But suppose he has spent it?" asked the young girl 

"Oh, well, if he has spent it — I don't know — of 
course he cannot restore to you what he hasn't got of 
yours — if he has spent it — I don't know — of course " 

"Prosecute him for misappropriation of trust funds," 

put in the inspector, deeply interested. 

"Yes, evidently that would be the proper course to 



follow," assented Mrs. Bertram; "you would prosecute 
him for misappropriation of trust funds. Take proceed- 
ings against him. He deserves it!" 

"Oh no! — oh no! Let him rest, if he is satisfied 
with his dishonesty. There may be nothing after all, and 
if he says there is nothing, let us drop the matter and 
never mention his name again. I am too thankful to 
have escaped — for I call it an escape. But we are 
wearying Mr. Byde with all this?" 

"On the contrary," protested that gentleman, "these 
matters are all pertinent to the inquiry. Allow me to 
demonstrate. Suppose that A. B., trustee of the estate 
of C. D., a minor, has misapplied the moneys of the said 
C. D. You follow me?" 

"Oh, quite!" said Mrs. Bertram, frowning with her 
mental effort to pursue the abstract relations of A. B. and 
C. D.— "Perfectly!" 

"And suppose that A. B., on the approach of C. D.'s 
majority, fears that, on C. D/s behalf, it may be demanded 
of him to render an account of C. D.'s estate, and that 
in anticipation he pretends to make exceptional, honest, 
but unfortunate, investments of certain of the moneys. 
You follow me?" 

"Entirely," said Mrs. Bertram. 

"And suppose that A. B., speculating in precious 
stones, makes a plunge on diamonds, in the ostensible 
interests of C. D.'s estate, to the extent of «£ 2 0,000. 
Suppose these diamonds, purchased for the estate of 
C. D., are abstracted from his custody and never traced. 
C. D. may subsequently render the position of A. B. 
somewhat unpleasant, if so minded; but A. B. may be J 
judged to have acted in good faith, and C. D. may for 
various reasons let the matter drop. Now, then, we have 


only to suppose that A. B. never did lay out the moneys 
of C. D. in diamonds to the extent of £ 20,000, and it 
would result 1 beg pardon, but — you follow me?" 

"Quite well," said Mrs. Bertram. 

"It would result — that the diamonds never were stolen 
at all. If we suppose A. B. to be Stanislas Wilmot, Esq., 
and C. D. to be Miss Adela Knollys, his ward, we then 
arrive at the coriclusion that the Wilmot (Park Lane) 
case, with regard to which I have ventured to present 
myself, ladies, and upon which I have been specially 
commissioned from Scotland Yard, is neither more nor 
less than — non-existent." 

"Then you will tell them to set free Mr. Sinclair at 
once?" demanded the younger lady, with great promptitude. 

"There might be a case for letting him out on bail," 
replied the inspector; "his own and other recognisances, 
to a substantial amount. But I can't say what they may 
have gathered, in the way of corroborative testimony, at 
the other end." 

"Oh, how unjust the law is!" exclaimed Miss Knollys. 
"I would not be a lawyer for anything, if I were a man!" 

"Well, you see " began the inspector. 

"Unjust and stupid, the law is!" 4 reiterated Miss 
Knollys, her colour heightening again. 

"Why should Mr. Sinclair have been indicated to the 
police? We were bound to take notice of the informa- 
tion laid with us." 

"And who laid the information?" inquired Mrs. 

"Stanislas Wilmot, Esq.," replied the visitor. 

"Just as I thought!" exclaimed Miss Knollys to the 
elder lady. "Did I not tell you so? 'Malice — wicked, 
vindictive, designing malice!" 



"May I question you as to the occasion of Mr. 
Sinclair's departure from the employment of your guardian 
three month's ago?" asked Mr. Byde. 

Miss Knollys consulted her friend with a regard. 
The hostess answered with an expression which seemed 
to convey — "Well, do as you like, my dear, but I should 
not tell this strange man all my personal affairs." The 
signals, believed to be imperceptible, continued. 

Divining, as men of the world usually do divine, the 
code in that feminine telegraphy by which the fair 
operators fondly imagine they conceal their interchange 
of impressions from the other sex, Mr. Byde went on to 
say that the position of Austin Wortley Sinclair "might 
be injuriously affected by circumstances attendant upon 
his dismissal a few months before." If he had been 
suspected of mal-practices, for instance, or detected in 
suspicious company: indeed, worse than that might have 

"You see," pursued Mr. Byde, "the case for Mr. 
Wilmot is that the property was abstracted from his strong 
room during the night, and that the locks must have 
been opened with duplicate keys. His keys had not 
been out of his possession for some time previously, and 
certainly not while this property was lying in the strong 
room of the Park Lane residence; but he did once mislay 
them while Mr. Sinclair was in his employment as pri- 
vate secretary. Now, if Mr. Sinclair is accused of taking 
away certain keys in order to have patterns made of them, 
that will form an awkward accusation to rebut When we 
know why he quitted Mr. Sinclair's employment " 

"He went away because of unwarrantable freedom on 
the part of Mr. Wilmot," interrupted the young girl 
haughtily. "Oh, you shall hear the story!" 



"On second thoughts, no, not the entire edifying 
story; but you shall learn what you wish to know. Mr. 
Sinclair was taunted by my guardian with endeavouring 
to involve me in an engagement to him, for the purpose 
of obtaining the control of my fortune — an imaginary 
fortune, he added, in his gracious manner. In the same 
breath he said he should dismiss him at once; but that 
was of course needless, for Mr. Sinclair would not have 
remained another moment in his house. The entire 
rupture did not occupy more than a few minutes. Mr. 
Sinclair had no opportunity of communicating with me, 
and from that day I became, without guessing it, almost 
Mr. Wilmot's prisoner. Mr. Sinclair would not descend 
to anything clandestine, and the letters which it seems 
he sent through the post to me were intercepted. His 
sudden departure was misrepresented, and I was con- 
demned to listen to calumny upon calumny. Mr. Wilmot 
had other views for me, I understood later — other views!" 
She blushed once more — partly with anger, perhaps. 

"You eventually met Mr. Sinclair again?" 

"Mr. Sinclair guessed the reason of my silence, and 
at length made a call at our house. He timed his visit 
expressly for an hour when my guardian was usually at 
home. Mr. Wilmot refused to receive him, and forbade 
me to enter into any communication with him. Any 
such prohibition being tyrannical nonsense, I declined 
utterly to observe it. It has been due to myself that 
Austin Wortley Sinclair, as you think fit to speak of him, 
thenceforward occasionally 'haunted' the Park Lane 
residence of Mr. Stanislas Wilmot — poor fellow! The 
concealment we were obliged to observe formed an ad- 
ditional humiliation for him. He had been already in- 


suited; he was in poverty and without prospects for the 
time; and if I had not assured him I should never 
change, I think he would have gone away for ever. What 
gave him courage, however, was the statement by my 
guardian that I was absolutely penniless." 

Mr. Byde stared at the young lady with a surprise 
that was largely mingled with admiration. 

"And it is owing to you, dear, dear Mrs. Bertram," 
continued the young lady, with a grateful outburst "that 
we should have been extricated from our embarrass- 
ments, if this horrible affair had not occurred. Austin 
will be set at liberty very soon — that is one consolation — 
but think how he will feel the stigma !" 

"Mr. Sinclair's appointment here" — asked the visitor 
— "will he lose it through this case, in the event of his 
innocence being proved?" 

"His prospects shall not suffer," replied Mrs. Bertram 
drily; "I have sufficient influence to ensure that. Are 
there any further questions you would wish to ask?" 

"One — does Miss Knollys identify the man whose 
corpse lies at the Morgue?" 

It was the young lady's turn to exhibit surprise. 

"Yes," she answered slowly, with a slight tremor; "I 
recognise the dead man. It is Mr. Remington, one of 
the business people employed by my guardian. You saw 
us, perhaps, at the Morgue yesterday afternoon? We had 
read the news of that murder in the night-mail from 
London, and in the absence of any message up to that 
moment from Mr. Sinclair, whom we had expected by 
the same train, I feared that the victim might be he. 
Mr. Remington made periodical journeys to Paris for the 
purposes of his business, and had occasionally brought 
us a trifling souvenir. He was well acquainted with the 


arrangements of our house, and might have been of the 
greatest usefulness to Mr. Sinclair just now. It was very 
shocking to find that the victim was the Mr. Remington 
whom we were accustomed to see so often at home. Poor 
Mr. Remington! — to die in that manner — murdered!" 

"I preferred that Miss Knollys, residing in my house," 
observed Mrs. Bertram, "should leave others to formally 
declare the identity of this unfortunate man. No doubt, 
in a day or two, all that will have been settled." 

Mr. Inspector Byde rose to depart. "Another word, 
if I may be permitted," he said; "Miss Knollys expressed 
the conviction that Mr. Sinclair's sudden disappearance 
from the vicinity of the Park Lane house must have been 
prior to the robbery if there was a robbery, not after- 
wards. That might lead up to a good alibi. Was the 
opinion based upon any fact within her own cognisance?" 
"It was based upon this fact," replied Mrs. Bertram, 
"that she herself disappeared from Mr. Wilmot's house 
prior to the date of the alleged robbery. There was no 
other attraction for Mr. Sinclair in the Park Lane establish- 
ment. Miss Knollys had found that any longer residence 
with her guardian would be unbearable, and I have been 
happy to place my own house at her disposition for any 
length of time. We desire particularly that her where- 
abouts may not be known to Mr. Wilmot for the present. 
He was well aware that Mr. Sinclair was proceeding to 
some Continental appointment, and, when he found that 
his ward had escaped from him, may have conjectured 
that she had intended to join him abroad. There are 
ridiculous provisions in her poor, weak mother's last will 
which place him in a position of quite arbitrary control, 
so long as his ward remains a minor — that is to say, 
unless she chooses to abandon the greater part of what- 


ever may be her fortune. Now, I insist upon her sacri- 
ficing nothing. Who would benefit by it, to begin with? 
Stanislas Wilmot, who most probably had the will drawn 
up. I feel persuaded that the property left by her 
mother was very considerable. I dare say Mr. Stanislas 
Wilmot had his own private .reasons for causing the ap- 
prehension, and, if possible, for securing the imprison- 
ment of his ward's fianct; for he must have discovered 
or suspected that they were affianced. But my solicitor 
shall take charge of Miss Knollys's interests." 

"This Mr. Wilmot seems to be quite the 'wicked 
uncle/" observed Mr. Byde facetiously, as he dandled 
his hat preparatory to taking his leave. "We shall have 
to ask him for an exact description of the diamonds, and 
for some particulars as to their purchase; the name of 
the firm, whether British or foreign, from which they 
passed into his hands. With stones of great value, such 
as these, every precaution must have been taken in the 
trade. Perhaps there was a diamond robbery, perhaps 
not. But before we could convict any man upon a cir- 
cumstantial case, we should want strong evidence about 
the identity of the stones. I will wire the Yard to look 
the point up without delay." 

"Mr. Wilmot is a very clever man," repeated the 
hostess, re-conducting her visitor. 

"He is well known in the City," said Miss Knollys, 
with some awe. 

"He goes behind the scenes," added the hostess. 

"He knows Lord Alfred Edgbaston very well, and 
Major Chase, the equerry-in- waiting," remarked "Miss 
Knollys. "They go to Richmond together, and some- 
times Prince Egbert Rudolph goes with them, incognito," 


"To look at the sunset from the hill, no doubt!" 
commented Mrs. Bertram sarcastically. 

"Yes, you get a beautiful view of the sunset from 
the hill," observed the young girl. "But I thought that 
no one went to Richmond, now; and yet they go con- 
stantly! Lord Henry Exbore, who is another of Mr. Wil- 
mot's friends, and owes him a great deal of money, goes 
there too, sometimes — to study the industrial English- 
American excursionists, he told me one evening, when 
he dined at our house. What a charming view you get 
of the sunset from the hill, do you not, Mr. Byde?" She 
spoke quite cheerfully now, and beamed upon the in- 
spector with gratitude: a sentiment which a satirist has 
not ill-defined. 

"A very nice view," said the inspector, with his 
countenance curiously puckered. Had he not come across 
old Exbore there himself — old Exbore with his dyed 
moustache and vinous mirth — studying the industrial 
English- American excursionists with one eye, and with 
the other (his lordship squinted) contemplating in mute 
ecstasy the gorgeous sunset? Did he not remember what 
the manageress of the Purple Peacock (a fine woman) 
told him as to that Hexbore lot as come down of a 
week-day and bribed the waiters to inform them Yankees, 
quite accidental-like, as how their lordships was present, 
and which they was? The manageress didn't half like to 
have their lordships using her house; it got her a bad 
name. She objected to see her well-trimmed gardens 
and her spacious dining-hall turned into a sort of show- 
ground for broken-down swells who ran up long accounts. 
If that old Edgbaston and that young Claude Beechamtre 
broke any more chairs she should call in the police, the 
manageress had said. Let them go somewhere else and 


fish with their titles for these wealthy Transatlantic 
prowlers — the artless widow and the "hartful young 
American miss." The last time the inspector had seen 
old Exbore at his Richmond post his lordship was enter- 
taining a sporting journalist, a circus clown (at that time 
out of an engagement), and a pugilist who had just won 
a fight at catch-weight for ^iooa side. His lordship's 
other guests seemed very charming girls, with a great 
flow of spirits when the waiters were out of the room. 
Two or three of them, who had been gaily singing 
snatches of their choruses in the new burlesque, had un- 
fortunately to leave for the theatre at an early hour. As 
they passed him on their way downstairs the inspector 
had seen their sweet and carmined lips curled with dis- 
paragement of their entertainer; and the language in 
which they summed up his lordship's peculiarities, both 
moral and physical, included the opprobrious epithets 
which, known in the highest as well as the lowest so- 
ciety, and not always whispered, have never yet — the 
gods be praised ! — infected the vocabulary of printers or 
their devils, and are uniformly conveyed to the sagacious 

reader, therefore, by the symbol " ." Lord Henry 

Exbore had received his rents that week, and was merry. 
He had once been discovered by the inspector in an in- 
avowable sphere, and had since then cultivated the in- 
spector's friendship anxiously. On the last occasion of 
their meeting Lord Henry had called to the inspector 
from the balcony of the Purple Peacock, to insist upon 
his joining the party. He had then privately announced 
to Mr. Byde his approaching union with a colossal New 
York fortune — grains, and cotton — of Seven-Hundred- 
and-Ninety-First Avenue; the lovely Miss Virginia Wattle, 
presented at Court in the previous month. When the in- 


spector sat down with his fellow-guests, to a nip of char- 
treuse and a grand cigar, their noble entertainer had as- 
sured the beauteous vision in white muslin skirts and 
black, tight-fitting velvet bodice, who occupied the place 
next to his own, that, bewitching as she had showed 
herself in the Christmas pantomime, and deeply as he 
should always adore her, he respected the new-comer far 
more highly, and to oblige him would go farther out of 
his way. "I don't believe you, that I don't!" had play- 
fully responded the vision, tapping his lordship's wrinkled 
knuckles with her fan, and ogling the circus artiste. The 
inspector believed his lordship, though! As he was now 
being slowly escorted by Mrs. Bertram and Miss Knollys, 
the whole scene flashed vividly through his mind. And 
what good features that young circus clown had, he re- 
membered; and what an athletic young fellow he was; 
and how cleverly he performed in the arena with his 
educated pig! 

If fellows like Exbore, and Edgbaston, and Chase — 
"Euchre" Chase, as he was called in Jermyn Street — 
were Wilmot's associates, the inspector fancied he could 
class him easily. The description of the missing valuables 
would have to be exact, indeed; and there must be full 
particulars provided as to the circumstances of their pur- 

"We shall be very glad to see you whenever you like 
to call," said the hostess. 

"You will do your best, will you not?" added the 
younger lady, with an imploring voice and an appealing 
smile. "Do your very best, Mr. Byde! . . . Our happi- 
ness depends upon you." 

The visitor gone, Mrs. Bertram chid her companion 
for the indifference she had displayed with respect to 


her real and personal estate. "Well," replied the young 
lady, "the fact is, Austin would not like me to have 
money. You will say I am credulous, perhaps — but I 
know him so well! He would think that it humiliated 

"You are a couple of children, if you talk like that," 
pronounced the woman of the world. "And pray why 
should you consent to occupy the position of a burden? 
Do you think that would be dignified? Especially when 
he would be labouring hard to keep up appearances, and 
to make both ends meet!" 

"That is true," answered MissKnollys pensively, after 
a pause. "It would not be fair that I should bring him 

So that the inspector, on the whole not discontented 
with the outcome of his visit, was departing from the 
Avenue Marceau without having once perceived the 
lady's-maid, Lydia Murdoch. Had he encountered that 
imperial creature, had his regard touched for but a 
second the pale face and the wondrous eyes which had 
arrested, not invited, the gallant advances of the not or- 
dinarily repressible Toppin, the inspector must assuredly 
have recognised Miss Murdoch. It was Inspector Byde 
who had reported upon the stranger aspects of the great 
scandal in May fair; the "scandal in high life" which had 
ended so disastrously for a valetudinarian hidalgo. Do 
we not remember the sensational divorce case — the letters 
that were read — the verses that were produced, copied 
upon vellum, stamped with a coat-of-arms, and signed 
"Montmorency Vane"? Do we not remember that the 
respondent had been a Miss Estelle Evelin Oakum, the 
"belle" of Boston, who,' to espouse the noble Spaniard, 
had thrown over the Presbyterian auctioneer that after- 


wards committed suicide? And had not Montmorency 
Vane turned out to be Vine, alias Grainger? The re- 
spondent in the Mayfair divorce case had discovered too 
late that her own maid formed the veritable attraction 
for the patrician Vane, and that, so far as she herself 
was concerned, "her purse, not her person," had been 
the object of his siege. The maid was Lydia Murdoch, 
now in her second place since the sensational divorce 
suit. Inspector Byde would have recognised her imme- 
diately; and if he had known that she had left a letter 
at the poste restante that morning for one Grenville Mon- 
tague Vyne, he would no doubt have been led to the 
conclusion that Miss Murdoch still kept up secret corre- 
spondence with one Vine, alias Grainger, hiding at the 
present time in Paris — and "wanted." 


From the Avenue Marceau the inspector bent his 
steps in the direction of Mr. Bingham's office. The card 
which had been left with him by that gentleman, when 
the latter requested the inspector to give him a call, 
contained the remarkable information that the Vicomte 
de Bingham, of the Rue des Petits Champs, No. 4 bis, 
was an "Agent pour les Assurances , 3i and an "Acketeur 
de cre'ances a I'Etranger." Amazing! commented the in- 
spector, as he again consulted the card. 

At the number indicated in the Rue des Petits 
Champs, he found that his old friend Byers, the receiver, 
was in excellent repute in the concierge's lodge, not only 
as a man of business with extensive dealings abroad, 
but as an English noble of illustrious lineage if un- 
fortunate career. What a wonderful fellow he was, old 


Ben Byers, mused the inspector — what a wonderful old 
boy! It was a deuced suspicious circumstance that he 
should have referred so pointedly to Brother Neel. 

"Well, he has picked out a business quarter for his 
operations, whatever they may be," thought the inspector 
— "and, by George, he's quite capable of entering into 
business, bond fide, and of making money at it!" On the 
ground-floor stood the show-rooms of an ostrich-feather 
importer, and the counting-house of an agent for the 
"Delectable" sewing-machines, extremely cheap, and 
made in Germany. At the end of the wide passage — 
the door opposite the staircase — you perceived the en- 
trance to the workshop of the new platinum piano; whilst 
across the yard, around a window well lighted by re- 
flectors, a bevy of young girls employed in Madame Truf- 
fiere's artificial-flower factory could be seen, pallid and 
laborious, bending over the foci of irritant poisons which 
necessarily permeated the air they breathed. Upstairs, 
on the first floor, the inspector found himself confronted 
by a dentist's showcase. To the left lay the dentist's 
rooms. To the right lay the offices of "M. de Bingham, 
Agent pour les Assurances," etc. On the second, third, 
and fourth floors were other business premises. A cane- 
seated bench, much out of repair, and very dusty, stood 
against the wall. 

It was the unpretentious aspect of the Vicomte's 
quarters that impressed Inspector Byde. He would be 
hanged if the whole thing didn't look bond fide, re- 
peated Mr. Bingham's old acqaintance. "Insurance and 
General Foreign Agent," he read in English on the door 
facing the bright silver plate and regal bell-rope of M. 
Melliflu, Dentiste Lyonnais. But the Vicomte formed a 
suspicious feature. And yet the commercial methods of 

r - 


all countries did not run upon identical lines. Half the 
routine of a business man consists of asking for some 
one thing or another, thought Mr. Byde; and in a Re- 
public it was quite natural that advantages should flow 
rather towards the solicitant armed with the symbols or 
the semblances of rank. 

He pushed at Mr. Bingham's office-door. It appeared 
to have been hung in such a way as to swing easily 
upon its hinges; but it would not open. He pushed 
again. This time he heard again the faintest tremor 
possible of an electric bell — a sound which was gone 
before he could say he had seized it — a tiny vibration 
which, as a full-blooded man, Mr. Byde might have put 
down to a "singing in the ears" — a warning signal which 
at first he had not been quite sure that he detected. 

He waited, but the door did not open. The in- 
spector then observed a square ivory button in a small 
recess at the side of Mr. Bingham's door. A neat brass 
plate invited callers to "Turn the button, s.v.p." The 
inspector twisted the ivory button, and quite a loud, 
honest, reassuring bell-like note at once rang out. What 
could it have been that thereupon brought a smile to the 
inspector's countenance? 

Mr. Bingham's office-door unlatched with an abrupt 
jerk. The visitor stepped across the threshold, but a 
high partition shut off his view of the interior. He had 
just entered in time to catch the dull bang of — ap- 
parently — a mahogany drawer, sharply closed. Footsteps 
resounded on a polished floor, and the pink, pear-shaped 
visage of grandpa, with the short strip of white whisker 
on each cheek, then appeared round the edge of the 

"I beg pardon, sir," said the inspector, assuming an 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 1 5 


air of innocent inquiry — "the Vicomte de Bingham — 
might he happen to be about?" 

"Sir," replied Mr. Bingham, in a corresponding vein, 
"that good old man is not — and I regret the circum- 
stance — at this present moment in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. The Vicomte, sir, has been summoned by 
the ruler of a friendly Power, the admirer at a distance 
of his talents (not to say genius), and of his numerous 
(not to say innumerable) philanthropic, solemn, and 
valuable (not to say invaluable) sacrifices, enterprises, and 
achievements, to resign himself to that which in the case 
of any other personage, it marfereth not how eminent, 
would constitute a dignity, favour, or recompense — to 
undergo, videlicet, the form and ceremonial of a State in- 
vestiture with the most ancient Order of Merit at the 
disposal of his most gracious and alien Majesty. The 
Vicomte is an aged man — but rare, sir, most rare!" 

"I have come a long way to see the Vicomte. I'll 
step inside and wait for his return." 

"Pray, sir, step in! Step in, sir, and make yourself 
at home! I am his little boy." 

"What!— Benjamin?" 

"The same, sir; Benjamin, Joseph's brother, whom 
Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, "Lest per- 
adventure mischief befall him," — strangely resembling 
one who had been sometimes called Old Ben Byers " 

"'Innocent Ben,' gentlemen of the jury; never con- 
victed hitherto, but always guilty !'" 

"'As your lordship pleases!'" Mr. Bingham shut the 
door and affably escorted his visitor to the other side of 
the partition. 

"A d d strange move this, — Benny, old boy! 

What's the meaning of it all?" The inspector surveyed 


the business premises of Mr. Bingham , and made cluck 
ing noises with his tongue. 

"'The meaning of it?' Ha! Scotland Yard spoke 
there. It means, grave and reverend Byde, that this is 
the hive of the bee — the honey-stored hive of the busy, 
busy bee! Sit down, my boy; glad to see you! Take 
that arm-chair; and if you care for a good cigar — there's 
something contraband." He pushed a box over the table. 

Mr. Byde sank into the seat indicated. He found 
that it placed him in the full light of the window,- and 
with his back to the door. Mr. Bingham took the seat 
opposite. The table which separated them was a sort 
of half-bureau, in mahogany. On the right and left 
hand of Mr. Bingham, who appeared to have installed 
himself in his habitual place, rows of drawers extended 
from the level of the table downwards to the ground. 
"Ah, we work hard," proceeded the host. "The in- 
surance business is about half developed in this country. 
But we do our best to teach them. We try to rescue 
the public from the perils of their own thriftlessness. 
Within these walls we indite the flowing phrase; within 
these walls we bid the quarterly commission a hearty 


"Myself, and sleeping partner. Clerks? Oh yes, we 
keep a staff of clerks — two; and their desks are in that 
inner room. One, however, I have just dismissed. The 
rascal was robbing me. The other is a very gentlemanly 
youth — out just now — confided to me with a premium 
by his widowed mother, who desired to have her son 
instructed in English ways of business and in the English 
language. Touching — these maternal ambitions and this 
trust Lucky the good lady fell into my hands! There 



are scoundrels about who would have fleeced her with- 
out mercy; and the premium came in just at a con- 
venient moment. Pretty good premium — and paid down 
on the nail. The young man writes my letters for me, 
and helps me with the French clients. I have sent him 
off with a fire-policy, to the other side of Paris. He 
likes going out, I notice; and Pm sure / haven't the 
least objection. He needn't come back at all, unless he 
likes. One or two more of them, with even bigger pre- 
miums, would not do the business any harm!" 

"Nothing in that, I suppose?" remarked the inspector, 
nodding in the direction of a massive safe. 

"Nothing whatever," acquiesced his host. "Obliged 
to keep it there, though. Looks well: gives people con- 
fidence. Oh, we bank all our money at once! Wouldn't 
do to keep it on the premises. Risk too great. Lot of 

rogues about. D d strange thing that you can't 

trust your fellow-creatures!" 

"And so you have other little irons in the fire be- 
sides insurance?" 

"Yes, yes — yes, yes! — take a glass of malaga?" 

The visitor objected that it was too early in the after- 
noon. While Mr. Bingham helped himself from a buffet 
that looked like a bookcase, and chatted about reviving 
trade, the inspector took further mental notes of the 
spacious interior. His eye appraised the elegantly up- 
holstered chairs, fauteuils, and couch, the pictures on the 
walls, the buffet — every article of furniture. On one of 
the ebony fluted columns rested a marble bust of the 
First Napoleon; on another, a bronze figure of Gambetta. 
Some common vases on the mantelpiece were filled with 
fresh flowers; brackets in the angles of the room, and a 
handsome etagere, supported ornaments more suitable to 


a private residence than to business offices. The room 
had no distinctive character; the large safe, however, 
seemed out of place in it. The gilt-framed mirror which 
rose from the black marble mantelpiece to the cornice 
reflected the wheels and pendulum of the clock, seen 
through the sheet of glass fitted into its rear. Likewise 
reflected in the mirror were a pair of goldsmith's scales, 
which had been pushed behind a small equestrian figure 
in oxidised iron. The inspector's roving eye took in 
this detail, and then transferred its scrutiny to the closed 
doors which apparently communicated with apartments 

"The London evening papers of last night had tele- 
grams about this murder of an Englishman ," said Mr. 
Byde. "I saw one this morning at the hotel. Their 
correspondents here would wire the news, I suppose?" 

"Something of the sort," replied his host. "Wonder- 
ful thing the press! — pioneer of progress — bulwark of 
freedom — Argus, of the Hundred Eyes — Rumour, painted 
with many tongues — wonderful thing! Try a glass of 
madeira. No? Marvellous institution, sir, the modern 
newspaper press! The trumpet of the law, the sentinel 
of order, the sleuth-hound auxiliary of retributive justice!" 

"Ah, that's more in the old vein, Benjamin," remarked 
the inspector tranquilly. "Thought you had lost it, when 
you came to see me. Lord, how we used to love to hear 
you conducting your own case! You ought to have done 
better things, Benjamin, with the education you've had. 
I recollect a swell witness telling us once that he was a 
pupil with you at a private college, and that you carried 
away all the prizes when you liked to try. He told us 
you began life as a master in a cathedral town grammar- 
school. You were a better criminal lawyer than a great 


many of the managing clerks, and, as we know, the manag- 
ing clerks are often better posted in their law than the 
principals. You could always make a fine speech to the 
jury, cross-examine a witness, or argue on a point. And 
as for writing an indignant letter to the newspapers, I 
never did see your equal, Benjamin! And, what? All 
your early advantages have been wasted. I recollect that 
witness telling us — he was a J.P. of his county, too! — 
that you knew more Greek than anyone at the college, 
not excepting any of the masters, and that you could 
write an essay better than the examiners." 

"Ha! ha!— Not very difficult, that— friend Byde! The 
essays of school examiners — ha! ha! ha!" 

"And mathematics! — you must have got very much 
farther on in them than my boy! Well, what have you 
done with it all? A man of your abilities, Benjamin, and 
with the education you started with, might have taken to 
writing for the press — and by this time — who knows? 
— with industry, good health, sobriety, providence, and 
luck " 

"The press!" Mr. Bingham, who was .refilling his own 
glass, spilt the wine upon the table, as he stared at his 
visitor with astonishment. "Til tell you where — or, rather, 
what — I should be now, Byde* if I had been deluded by 
the dream which led away the only friend I ever had, 
and that was in my youth. These trifles you have just 
referred to come to my ears now with a strange sound. 
I studiously forgot them long ago. But if you speak of 
journalism, I'll tell you what I should be at this present 
time of day if I had had your own abilities as well as 
mine, together with the abilities of half a dozen school- 
masters, and the capacity of two Secretaries of State. I 
should be a broken spirited, feebly struggling, despised, 


old palsied figure-head, grudging the few sous necessary 
every week to read in libraries and newsrooms the kind 
of books, articles, and perhaps speeches which at one 
time I wrote better myself. To read them? Yes, if I 
could still see. It sounds well, the press. You and your 
colleagues who only come in contact with a single class 
of pressmen find that they are often cleverer than you 
are at your own business! And when you get a glimpse 
of the higher ranks of journalism you find that the 
anonymous writer — ill-paid, unspared, used by everyone, 
served by nobody — must almost show that he could 
qualify for a score of absolutely different callings. The 
actor, the vocalist, the painter, preacher, barrister, or de- 
magogue can be known for what he does. But the press- 
man? Society uses the working pressman, exhausts him, 
and then throws him on one side, without even having 
asked his name. The pressman in harness is the ladder 
by which others — able men as well as charlatans — mount 
upward to prosperity. How many self-styled statesmen 
and so-called orators owe their brilliant fortunes to the 
silent band of drudging journalists ! How many grievances 
are aired, how many wrongs redressed! Tell me of a 
charitable movement which could have stood without the 
Fourth Estate, as they say. And the drudging pressman 
who has passed his days calling attention to the woes of 
others, what has he to look for in the hour of need, or 
when his health and strength shall fail? He, who has 
found asylums for the distressed in all other sections of 
society, can confidently look in front of him to the com- 
plete oblivion of everyone whom he has served." 

The inspector seemed so pleased at having stung his 
old acquaintance into this tirade, that he took a glass of 
wine with him. 


"Look at me!" proceeded Mr. Bingham bitterly; "I 
may be compelled to pocket the offensive pleasantries of 
a policeman — oh, you needn't interrupt! We know each 
other, Byde; I believe you sincerely wish me well, and 
in return for the service I once rendered you, you will 
permit me just for once to speak a little plainly — I may 
be a declasse, virtually outlawed in my native country; I 
may have been driven by destitution to — what you will 
— in early years, and I may have more or less incurred 
suspicion since — but look at me ! I am in perfect health, 
and my own master. The poor friend I had, years ago, 
* M % went blind at journalism. I remember the receptions I 
met with, when I applied for some assistance for him, to 
^wealthy people, some of whom had been made public 
men, parole d'honneur! public men — by the labours of 
himself and of his colleagues. He died, poor fellow! 
He died — and I consider that his blindness and his death 
saved my own eye-sight, and my own life. It was then 
that I made my choice of a career in earnest. With my 
gift of the gab I might have gone into professional 
philanthropy; with a little capital I might have made a 
fortune in quack medicines. I did better." 

"What was it, Benjamin ?" 

"More honest, all things considered." 

"I wonder what it could have been. We never found 
it out." Mr. Bingham did not answer. "Not the insurance 
agency line, Fm sure; though it does seem a profitable 
line here, when you are a vicomte?" 

"A worker on the press!" exclaimed Mr. Bingham, 
with a final explosion — "I could buy a newspaper next 
week — but not out of money earned by serving the 
public in that sort of way!" 


"I wish to goodness you'd buy that temperance rag 
that pitches into me," returned the inspector. 

They sat looking at each other for a few moments. 

"I'm an old fool," said Mr. Bingham, at length, com- 

"Come, come!" expostulated the inspector. "You've 
told me nothing." 

"You're pretty clever at the Yard, some of you," con- 
tinued Mr. Bingham; "and you're one of the best yourself. 
But I tell you what it is: you don't owe more than fifty 
per cent, of your successes to cleverness on your own 
part. Half the time it's the stupidity of the other people 
that enables you to bring it off." 

"True for you, Benny," said the visitor. "When 
they're not stupid they can get away — if they only knew 
it. Not in this country, though. By the way, I didn't 
explain that they have mixed me up with this Gare du 
Nord case. We shall soon put our fingers on the two 
London men who are suspected of the murder and 
robbery in the night-mail." 

He looked at his host steadily as he pronounced these 

"Aha! A case of suspicion?" 

Mr. Bingham did not flinch. It was not very likely 
that a man "of his years and experience," as he had 
observed to Vine, alias Grainger, would be taken off his 
guard by sudden home-thrusts. His gaze became quite 
as steady as his visitor's. 

Inspector Byde recounted the barest circumstances of 
the primd facie case against the two suspicious characters 
from London. 

"We shall have them," he repeated — "to-morrow or 
the next day. One of our men here is working with the 


French police, and I'm assured that the thing is safe for 
the day after to-morrow. What should you think, know- 
ing Paris?" 

Each still met the other's regard quite steadily, and 
each wore a smile of easy unconcern. Grandpa made a 
show of turning the question over in his mind. 

"Well," he said eventually, "upon what you say I 
should think these men are booked. Who are they?" 

"A man named Vine, who had a dozen aliases, and 
a West-end pickpocket named Finch. Yes, I fancy we 
shall find them. And, from what I hear, we shall also 
find a man who met them by the train — clearly a con- 
federate — perhaps the man who is hiding them away." 

For the life of him, the speaker could not keep his 
eyes from wandering to those closed doors, which ap- 
parently communicated with other apartments. That side- 
glance enlightened Mr. Bingham. 

"Why, what have you to do with a case of murder 
committed on French soil — in the French metropolis, you 
may almost say?" 

"To tell you the truth, Benjamin, I'm looking for 
valuable property supposed to have been stolen in Eng- 
land. My instructions are that the murdered man was 
in illegal possession of this property; and, as it had not 
been found upon him, the presumption is that the pro- 
perty was abstracted from his person by the murderer or 
murderers. The two men I spoke of know that the Yard 
is after them. Consequently, they can do nothing in the 
way of liquidating the valuables, which, I may as well 
add, are diamonds. To get the stones upon the market, 
they must of course make use of the Paris confederate, 
the third man. Now, as one man of business to another 
— suppose you were in my place (determined to recover 


the property, but not at all obliged to trouble about the 
murder), and suppose the third man was an old friend, 
who had done you a good turn, and whom you did not 
wish to injure, what would you do?" 


Before Mr. Bingham could reply, the electric bell re- 
sounded faintly behind his chair. At the same instant 
footsteps were heard outside. 

"A caller — and somebody strange to the premises," 
thought Mr. Byde, remembering his own experience. 

Whoever the caller might be, he was either in great 
haste or in a violent temper. He appeared to be shak- 
ing the door, as well as he was able; he delivered a 
hearty kick presently upon the lower panel. The small 
metallic vibration resounded in a spasmodic manner be- 
hind Mr. Bingham's chair. 

"Someone in a hurry to insure his life," said the in- 
spector. "Don't keep him waiting, Benjamin!" 

Mr. Bingham reached behind him and detached the 

"Vous permettez?" he demanded, rising with a very 
grand air indeed. 

"Je vous en prie," responded the inspector graciously, 
not to be outdone. 

Mr. Bingham moved towards the partition, and dis- 
appeared on the other side of it as a fresh blow was de- 
livered against the panel. The inspector heard the snap 
of the lock as the door jerked open. An exclamation in 
English met his ears, and then a smothered reply by his 
host. The door banged; the two voices now evidently 
proceeded from the outside. 

Alone in the office, Mr. Byde promptly changed his 
place for the one which had been occupied by his host. 


He tried the drawers conveniently accessible at his right 
hand, but all were locked. On his left hand, however, 
the top drawer opened at once. The inspector cast a 
rapid glance at the two closed doors which had already 
attracted his attention — at a structural recess here and 
there in the spacious room — and at a dark nook formed 
by the position of the disproportionately high safe. Alone? 
Yes, he was alone; but free from scrutiny? 

The office-door had shut to violently. By accident? 
If he had not heard the murmur of voices outside he 
might have imagined that the loudly closed door was an 
artifice devised for his own benefit. There were no voices 
to be distinguished at this moment. Who might not be 
watching him from the other side of that partition? 

Suppose his wily old acquaintance had not passed 
over the threshold at all? Suppose he had a partner 
with him on the other side of that partition, and they had 
a little plan concerted for securing his sequestration tem- 
porarily? For all he knew, thought the inspector rapidly, 
they had "got it up for him." On some pretext or other 
he might be handed over to the French police, and be- 
fore he could regain his freedom — he, the only man whom 
Byers was afraid of, and the only man after all who could 
satisfactorily identify the two men "wanted" — everything 
would have been settled. Vine and Finch would be out 
of the country; all traces of the property would have 
been lost; and Byers would come and offer him the fullest 
excuses, and would remind him privately that what had 
befallen him he only deserved, his own intention in visit- 
ing the premises having been simply to entrap an old 

It would be legitimate warfare, calculated Mr. Byde, 
and Benjamin was quite deep enough to resort to the 


manoeuvre. A frightful experience for him — to be told 
off on Continental duty, and to get put into gaol himself. 
They would never leave off laughing at the Yard! And 
that Temperance paper, with its headings — "Inspector 
Byde Again," or "The Latest Exploit of Inspector Byde!" 
He listened, and could hear nothing but the rattle of 
the traffic in the thoroughfare below. It might be wiser, 
perhaps, to run no risks. And yet he would have given 
a good deal to be able to search these premises. 

What if he actually found the property here — the 
Wilmot diamonds reported to the Yard as having been 
stolen from Park Lane? Old Wilmot might have come to 
them with a true story — why not? Suppose the property 
were actually in this room, and he found it? Why, then 
he might be thrown into the hands of the French police, 
with a primd facie case against him of having had the 
property secreted about him for an indefinite period. 
Remington once identified with the Wilmot diamond rob- 
bery, he, Byde, having journeyed by the night-mail, would 
be at once connected with the murder itself. Amateur de- 
tective people, and anyone who nourished grievances 
against the police, would immediately declare that the 
temptation had been too great for his resistance, and that 
he had yielded all the more readily because he knew that 
suspicion would most naturally descend upon the two 
men from London. 

Bah! How he ran on! Was it in the least degree 
probable, now, that he should come across the stolen pro- 
perty here? Was old Ben Byers, even if he really had 
the present custody of the diamonds, the man to leave 
those sort of things about — to leave then for a couple of 
minutes only, accessible to a fellow from Scotland Yard? 
No, no! Too old a soldier — Byers! It was hardly worth 


while profiting by his absence, if he really had gone out 
of the room. Oddly built, these older French houses. You 
could easily be hidden in that alcove over there. At 
night, a burglar or an assassin ! Bad light, this after- 
noon! The opposite houses were so high that you could 
not even see the leaden, wintry clouds. 

The inspector pulled the topmost drawer wide open 
with his left hand. 

"Who knows," said he, "what I may light upon? A 
spoilt envelope, an address card, an empty phial, the Soho 
post-mark, the name of Clements and Company, a revolver 
— the revolver, perhaps, by Jove?" 

He pulled the mahogany drawer wide open, and glanced 
at the few articles it contained. It was almost too shal- 
low to be used as a receptacle for revolvers. What were 
these odds and ends? Postage stamps, sealing-wax, twine, 
a pair of scissors. A bystander who could have divined 
the conflict just now raging in the inspector's breast might 
have pointed at him with derision. But the inspector has 
often remarked that in his business there are no such 
things as trifles. He did not touch the scissors, twine, or 
sealing-wax. He slipped the lid off a small, square, white 
cardboard box, from one side of which a fringe of white 
cotton-wool peeped out. A glittering object reposed 
within a little nest of snowy cotton-wool. 

Mr. Byde unhesitatingly extracted the glittering ob- 
ject from its immaculate nest, and transferred it expedi- 
tiously to his own waistcoat-pocket; an act which no doubt 
he knew as well as anybody constituted an offence against 
the droit commun of France not less than against the 
common law of Albion, his native land. That done, how- 
ever, he replaced the square cardboard lid, and left the 
spotless fringe escaping from one side exactly as before. 


Noiselessly he closed the drawer. Now, then, had he 
been watched? 

Inspector Byde marched up to the deep alcove. In 
its dark shadow, no one. He strode towards the parti- 
tion, but was arrested by a scraping sound — that of a key 
against a lock, evidently. It must be the Vicomte de 
Bingham letting himself in. Mr. Byde would have wished 
most earnestly to explore the communications of the other 
two doors, but it was impossible this afternoon. A pity! 
For all he knew 

The office-door unlatched with its customary jerk. 
Mr. Bingham banged it after him, and emerged from be- 
hind that most conveniently-placed partition. There were 
no signs of flurry in his manner, but he seemed less genial 
than it was his wont to be. His eyes looked very bright, 
A frown lingered vaguely about his brow. 

"What is that equestrian statue I can just see at the 
end of the street?" inquired the inspector, with his hands 
in his pockets and his forehead against the window-pane. 

"Louis XIV." 

"Who made our ancestor a vicomte?" 

"You've been prying, I can see, my boy — you've been 
prying about! Oh, there's no rural innocence here! Take 
your hands out of your pockets and come away from that 
window. It won't do." 

"Benjamin, you are ruffled." 

"So long as I didn't leave the safe unlocked!" Mr. 
Bingham moved over to the massive safe, and tried the 
handle. "That's all right," said he coolly; "I breathe again." 

"I dare say there's valuable property, now, in that 
safe," rejoined his visitor contemplatively — "a good deal 
of valuable property, I shouldn't wonder — property of all 


"The petty cash, and the De Bingham patents of 
nobility, and one or two marketable commodities whicli 
belong to clients." 

"Ah! Just think of it. The De Bingham patents of 
nobility. Tlie Yard would love to see those things. We'd 
like a copy of them, Benny, for the museum. Couldn't 
you let us have a copy of your title-deeds on vellum?" 
Mr. Byde facetiously pronounced the word "vealum." 

"What has this man been prying into, I should like 
to know," continued Mr. Bingham, substituting, with equal 
playfulness, divers uncomplimentary designations for the 
noun "man," as he repeated the phrase two or three 
times. He glanced over the table, and tested each of the 
mahogany drawers at his right hand, as he took his seat 
"No," he observed, "I think I left no bank-notes and no 
documents about." The visitor pretended to be vastly 
entertained by this undisguised mistrust, and joked on 
the subject, as he still stood with his forehead against 
the window-pane. 

The lower of the mahogany drawers at the Vicomte's 
left hand were locked. He drew out the upper drawers 
carelessly, turned over a few papers which one of them 
contained, and that was all. The odds and ends thrown 
into the topmost drawer barely engaged his attention at 
all. Had it escaped the old gentleman's mind that in 
the shallow topmost drawer he had placed that little 
square box in white cardboard edged with gilt? 

"What was it you were saying just now?" demanded 
Mr. Bingham, suddenly noticing his visitor's persistent 
stay at the window. 

"Just now?" 

"Before we were interrupted." 

"Don't remember." 


"An infernal fool, that fellow, by the way! A noisy 
brute who couldn't find the sonnette. A client. A few 
more clients of that description, and the firm would be 
discredited. Idiot! Here, take a cigar, Byde." 

"Thanks, no." 

"I dare say you thought it a deuced strange way for 
a client to call in at a business office on an afternoon?" 

"I thought he might be in a hurry to insure his life," 
the inspector answered without turning his head. 

"D d idiotic fashion to turn up at a respectable 

office," repeated Mr. Bingham, a growing uneasiness visible 
in his manner. "See what it is to have a large Royalist 
connection in the provinces. Ignorant clods, half of them, 
who want their money back as soon as they've entrusted 
it to you for prompt investment in profitable foreign 
securities !" 

"Fools!" assented Mr. Byde. 

"Cast your eye over our circulars. That will give you 
some notion of our agency business, and the extent of it." 

"I'll take your word for it, Benny." Mr. Byde's fore- 
head seemed positively glued to the window-pane. 

"Something interesting you down there?" hazarded 
the Vicomte boldly. 

" Oh dear no," replied the inspector, turning from the 
window, and repressing a yawn. "There's nothing very 
interesting in your street, Monsieur de Bingham — except 
the people who occasionally come there, hey?" 

"Yourself, for instance, man of modesty?" 

"Just so — what I was thinking of." 

The inspector had been thinking of an entirely dif- 
ferent personage. It was of the excited visitor, who, 
though a client, had not been able to remember the 

Passenger from Scotland Yard. I& 


whereabouts of the bell at that respectable office-door, 
that he had been thinking. And sure enough he had 
finished by perceiving from the window the face of a 
man who appeared to be awaiting someone, as he loitered 
at the corner — sometimes within the view on this side, 
sometimes lost to sight on the other — across the street. 
It was a face he recognised very positively, this time. 
It was Vine, alias Grainger, who was loitering at the 
corner, over the way. 

"Come," expostulated Mr. Bingham gently, "you 
don't expect that that will wash with me, I hope? You 
were not thinking of any swell from Scotland Yard; you 
were thrashing your brains about the swell who was here 
in a panic just now. Come — weren't you?" 

"Benny, I was," returned the inspector. 

"Well, have you made your mind up?" 

"Benny, I have." 

"Well, isn't my word as good as another man's word 
— isn't it — you suspicious old villain you?" 

"It is, Benny, it is — quite as good as another man's." 

"Then don't begin on old Ben Byers again. Poor old, 
worthy old, ill-treated Benjamin Byers! He was as honest 
an old gentleman as ever paid Queen's taxes and local 
rates. And yet they wouldn't let him go on peacefully. 
The Yard were always beginning on him. They hunted 
him until he was obliged to pack up and go. Poor old 
unfortunate Byers! They hunted him out of his native 
country — they drove him forth from his dear native land!" 

"Don't cry, Benjamin!". 

"No, Mr. Inspector, sir — I don't mean to cry. It was 
a dev'lish good thing for Benjamin, as it turned out, 
that they drove him forth. He ended his days in honour 
and in opulence: on a foreign soil, amid plenitude and 



at peace, he breathed his last. One Bingham rose up 
in his place — 

"De Bingham, Benny 

"Who was as like him as two peas are like. But not 
so amiable; with more money of his own, and more 
money at his back; and with a few things up his sleeve 
that might make it a dangerous undertaking to begin on 
him. A devilish ugly customer, this Bingham !" 

"De Bingham, Benny " 

"And /should say that the man who thought he could 
begin on him was mad. And I should further say that 
the man who tried to hunt him would meet with acci- 
dents. He would be — down at the first obstacle, he 
would — and — very likely break his neck!" 

"Threats, Benny?" 

"No; entreaties." 

"Advice, you mean. Risky advice. But you always 
were audacious" — ^wdacious, pronounced the inspector, 
in his facetious way. "We'll have a glass of wine to- 
gether. I must get back to the hotel." 

They exchanged actionable epithets with the greatest 
serenity and good humour; and then, in a glass of that 
excellent malaga, drank to each other's eternal confusion. 

"I know my way out — don't rise!" urged the inspector 
politely, as he put on his hat and moved towards the 
counter and partition. "I leave you to the clients." 

"Yes, I have an hour's work here," responded Mr. 
Bingham. He touched the communication which un- 
latched the office-door, and in another moment the visitor 
had gone. Inspector Byde walked habitually with a heavy 
tread, and the sound of his retreating footsteps could be 
heard from within. 

The inspector did not go downstairs, however. He 



ascended the staircase to a higher floor, and there he 
waited on the landing. 


The inspector stationed himself at an angle of the 
balustrade from which he could easily command a view 
of the two stories below. A few persons passed up and 
down the staircase; an office-door on either side of him 
would be opened and closed to allow of egress or ad- 
mittance to some visitor or an employ^; and from time 
to time a junior clerk who, as the inspector made his 
appearance, was just finishing a cigarette upon the land- 
ing, would put his head out of a doorway and examine 
the new-comer's back with marked inquisitiveness. Mr. 
Byde could on occasion see all round him simultaneously 
— or at least could make you think he had that gift; the 
fact has been already remarked elsewhere. When it 
suited him to do so, therefore, he detected the young 
gentleman in one of these examinations, and, with a 
half-salute to him and half a phrase, conveyed politely 
that his presence on that spot had no reference to the 
young gentleman's firm. The junior clerk, with the true 
courtesy of his nation — in flute-like tones, and with a 
gesture full of grace — invited the inspector to avail him- 
self of the bench placed there gratuitously for the general 
use; and, returning amongst his colleagues, told them 
that the loutish imbecile who looked like a foreigner was 
still hanging about the palter, outside, in a suspicious 

At length Mr. Byde's patience met with its reward. 
The Vicomte de Bingham, personally, issued from the 
Bureau for the "achat dcs cr/ances a rttranger" down- 


stairs, and descended towards the street. No one had 
an eye upon the inspector at this moment. He accord- 
ingly lost no time in pulling a large silk scarf out of an 
inner coat pocket, and in adjusting it to form a kind of 
not ineffectual disguise. He bound his face up with the 
scarf, and tied the ends in a knot at the crown of his 
head. This done, he pushed his handkerchief inside the 
scarf at gne side of his face, pulled his hat down firmly, 
and turned up the high collar of his overcoat. On his 
way down he necessarily repassed the dentist's showcase 
on the first floor. M. Melliflu himself had just shown a 
lacerated patient to the top of the stairs, and as he caught 
sight of the inspector's bent shoulders and bound-up 
head, that odontalgic expert — thought the inspector — 
"looked extractions at him." 

The stylish black Inverness cape by which it would 
not be difficult to identify the retreating form of Mr. 
Bingham proved at first undiscernible, when the inspector 
cautiously stepped out into the street. On neither hand 
was it to be seen. His view of the corner, over the 
way, at which he had perceived, restlessly pacing to and 
fro, Vine, alias Grainger, alias Sir John, was intercepted 
for the moment by the lines of vehicular traffic. The 
same fact, however, sheltered his own person from ob- 
servation. Presently he detected the black Inverness cape 
hastening away from the Rue des Petits Champs by the 
street which traversed that thoroughfare. At Mr. Bing- 
ham's side strode the erect figure of Sir John. 

It didn't surprise him in the least, reflected Mr. Byde 
— no, not in the least, upon his word and honour. The 
very clever people who made so many mistakes would 
have guessed at it right off, certainly. Toppin would 
have jumped at the conclusion without the shadow of a 


query, if Toppin had but known what he knew as to old. 
Ben Byers. But, at the best of times, guesses were 
hazardous; and they might all have gone extremely wrong 
upon their obvious guesses. Now — what had led him 
strongly to connect the personality of Benjamin with this 
matter? What had brought him down to Benjamin's 
office? What had placed within his reach that piece of 
ostensibly indirect evidence which he now carried in his 
waistcoat-pocket — what had put him actually upon the 
path of one of the suspicious characters urgently "wanted"? 
What? Why — remembered the inspector, as he warily 
dogged the footsteps of the companions in front of him — 
what but a process of pure logical induction?" 

He did his best to reconstruct his written argument 
of the previous night. As he had expressed them, the 
relations of A to B and C led up inexorably, the in- 
spector flattered himself, to the hypothetical functions of 
X and Y "to find, etc." And, having applied his reason- 
ing in a rigidly practical manner, haying proceeded logically 
from A himself, here we were already trotting at the heels 
of someone whom we might rationally infer to be either 
X or Y. How they cleared the mind, these formulas and 
symbols, meditated Mr. Byde. He would not deny that 
his colleagues who never used a single symbol, or any 
formula, could not have arrived at exactly the same result 
with a lapse of time precisely commensurate. But their 
methods were impressionist, not scientific. Any incident 
or fact of evidence which conflicted with their irrational 
treatment of inquiries could not positively be measured, 
and tested at once, and at once accepted or discarded; 
no, they must be always noting, always keeping matters 
in suspension, always multiplying side-issues, always losing 
themselves in the trite assumptions of officialism. Half 


their time they spent in dangling after false clues. How 
could it be otherwise, on a procedure by "rule of thumb"? 
They succeeded — yes, they succeeded! But they also 
failed. Give them something to do outside the common 
run of criminal cases! Give them a problem to solve 
in regions of pure reason — ["regions of pure reason — 
regions of pure reason," muttered the inspector, with 
great gusto — "one of the boy's phrases, I think; ah, if I 
had had the education which that boy has had!"] — take 
them out of the routine where their experience of the 
criminal classes was backed up by the " from information 
I received," and how many successes would be scored 
by the majority of his colleagues? Acting solely in pur- 
suance of his impressions, a sharp colleague might have 
landed upon Vine, alias Grainger, through the involuntary 
agency of Bingham — yes, he would not affirm the contrary. 
But it would be guess-work, mere empirics, you might 
say. Could that colleague convince another mind, as he 
had convinced his own? Ha! It was not enough to feel 
sure that you were right; you had to convince third per- 
sons that you were right. And on the impressionist 
method how could you do this? Impressionism was in- 
dividual. Your own impressions might be accurate; but 
the persons who in the end were called on to decide 
(and who. might incidentally pronounce upon your con- 
duct) — they might be constitutionally unfitted to receive 
the same species of impressions. Whereas a scientific 
method cleared the head and shaped the judgment; im- 
parted confidence to the inquirer, and wrung acquiescence 
from the most unwilling of lookers-on; climbing to an 
irrefragable conclusion through irrefutable steps. 

The foregoing is the inspector's language, and the 
reader will anticipate us in a smile at the "irrefragable 


conclusion" which is attained by climbing "through ir- 
refutable steps." These were elegances of diction and 
proprieties of metaphor due in great part to the evening 
class on rhetoric at the institute in Camberwell. The 
inspector had interested himself in numerous branches of 
the institute's curriculum. Some of the hebdomadal classes 
he had followed for thirteen consecutive weeks! Those 
who enjoy the privilege of his acquaintance will admit 
that Mr. Byde is a man of undoubted natural parts. At 
the same time it has been urged by certain of his private 
friends, among themselves, that the art of rhetoric, the 
palaeozoic period, the Aryan race, elementary physics, 
and Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferioque, turned up too 
often in his familiar conversation. Topics of that sort, 
have commented certain of his private friends, would be 
.more suitably gone into with his son, who understands 
them. And, indeed, the inspector will sometimes talk so 
learnedly upon subjects taught, in the evening, at the insti- 
tute at the corner of the Terrace, that we should despair 
altogether of transcribing his occasional utterances. Ex- 
tremely fortunate must it be esteemed that in narrating 
the part he played in the Wilmot inquiry (Park Lane) 
there should be no necessity of toiling after him up any 
acclivity more precipitous than the rising ground of 
Book I. of "Euclid's Elements." 

"Q.E.D." was the inspector's rather premature com- 
ment as he observed Monsieur de Bingham pull up at a 
cafe and suddenly cast a searching look around and 
behind him. In the dusk it had been difficult, remain- 
ing at a safe distance in their rear, to keep the two figures 
ahead always in view. Mr. Byde could see, however, that 
their intention was to enter the caf6. That preliminary 
glance by grandpa, thought Mr. Byde, spoke volumes. It 


was that glance which had elicited from him the triumphant 
" Q..E.D. ," although nothing whatever was yet proved— 
scientifically. In construing that glance into an avowal 
of clandestinity, Inspector Byde was plunging into rank 

The two confederates passed into the cafe by the main 
entrance. The man who was following them might have 
approached at once, for they moved towards the quietest 
portion of the establishment without lingering an [instant 
near the door. Mr. Bingham evidently knew the pre- 
mises well. It was he who guided his companion to 
their places, and the other accompanied him without 
offering a word. The cafe" had three entrances, all com- 
municating directly with the street. The dispositions of 
the interior corresponded with the respective entrances, 
the area forming three sections, which were marked off 
by columns, replacing what had apparently been, once 
upon a time, party-walls. In short, the cafe had the look 
of having been extended and enlarged on each of its 
sides. Where the columns indicated the boundaries, the 
rows of seats were ranked back to back. The bases of 
the columns formed a substantial barrier between the 
rows of seats, and upon their projecting angles lay direc- 
tories, time-tables, newspapers, and other objects belong- 
ing to the establishment. It would be possible for the 
persons who might be seated upon one side of the 
columns to overhear the conversation of the neighbours 
with whom they were back to back. By the simplest of 
precautions neither need continue long unaware of the 
other's vicinity; but in the absence of any such precau- 
tions neither would be easily discoverable by the other. 
To one of these rows of seats Mr. Bingham conducted his 
visitor. They sat down with their backs to the columns, 


and to all appearances were secure from close observa- 
tion. Vine, alias Grainger, leant against the padded 
bench with a sigh of relief, qualified by a singularly un- 
pleasant scowl. Mr. Bingham abruptly remarked to him 
that here they might converse undisturbed. 

A moment or two afterwards the inspector entered the 
caf6 from the farther door. The establishment was not 
well lighted, and a thin cloud of tobacco-smoke, which 
seeiried to penetrate to every corner, somewhat obscured 
the view. Inspector Byde threaded his way slowly among 
the tables, as though he were seeking out a suitable place. 
When he had made his choice, he might have been dis- 
covered reposing on the comfortable bench which stood 
back to back with the seats occupied by the two personages 
he had followed. Grandpa might have assured himself, 
by rising to his feet and looking over, whether or not on 
the other side of the barrier there were eavesdroppers. 
He did not do so; he did not even turn his head. Had 
he devoted some attention to the point, he might or 
might not have recognised Inspector Byde. His companion 
threw a glance at the seats immediately behind him, and 
dimly perceived a solitary form at the cafe-table on the 
other side of the barrier — the form of a man who, with 
his head bound up, appeared to be wrapped in profound 
slumber. Mr. Bingham's negligence on the subject might 
have been deemed incomprehensible. At this 'moment 
the caf£ contained few customers. It was not yet the 
normal hour of absinthe. Their arrival coincided with 
the lull which usually precedes that dietary rite. 

"Don't you talk to me about being compromised!" 
said Mr. Bingham's companion savagely. If you want 
your share in this, you must take your risk. Where's 


"Fll take my risk with anyone, if there's occasion for 
it, in a lawful way," said Mr. Bingham, in distinct tones. 
"As for anything unlawful, I will not be in it; and once 
more let me tell you, I will not be compromised!" 

"What is this game! what is it?" demanded Sir 


"It's my misfortune if Fm known to you," continued 
the other — "and I suppose that to some extent I am at 
your mercy. But there's a limit, and I won't be com- 
promised I The position I occupy here in the commercial 
world is an honourable one, and I can't permit anyone 
to damage it. I forbade you strictly to come near my 
office, and I cannot imagine what reason you could have 
had for coming to me at all. If it happens again — mark 
my words! — if you take a liberty like that with me again, 
I'll let out what I unfortunately know — I'll put the police 
on to you. As for what you say about 'shares,' I really 
don't understand you, John; I should think you have 
been imbibing." 

"Look here, Byers! Whom do you think you have 
got to deal with?" 

"Now, I brought you in here for a moment for the 
sake of being quiet. We can talk this matter over quickly 
here, and we'll talk it over once for all. It's no use 
making any disturbance about this. I told you originally 
that I would have nothing to do with it; and I tell you 
so again. That's all I have to say; and let this be our 
last meeting." 

"Then you have — managed — to — put — your — hands 
—upon — the — property?" said Vine, alias Grainger, 
placing an emphasis upon each word, and steadily regard- 
ing his interlocutor. "Then you have settled it with Mr. 
Bat, and I am to be left out — I, who, if you must be 


told so, put the Soho firm up to the whole affair? Who 
would have known anything about the Wilmot diamonds 
if it hadn't been for my private sources of information ?" 

"That is nonsense, and you know it. What have I 
to do with Bat, or anyone else you may be mixed up 
with? Come, let us drop this sort of conversation. Why 
did you come to my office?" 

"Oh, indeed! oh, indeed! Dear me, what a virtucms 
old gentleman we are, and what nice weather we're having. 
Without my private sources of information, who could 
have put the firm on to Remington? Where's Bat?" 

"The sooner we put an end to this the better. I 
have nothing to do with either your movements or his. 
Now, I haven't much time to spare, and " 

"Just as you please," replied Sir John, with a certain 
ferocius tranquillity. "Put an end to this at once if you 
like, so far as conversation goes. But when you go out 
of this cafe, I go too; and where you go, I go too; and 
whoever meets you, meets me too. And that's what I 
came down to the office to tell you, Byers; with this 
addition, that you may have been too clever for them at 
Scotland Yard in the past, but that the day you try on 
any double-cross business with me, your time has come!" 

"Did I hear you rightly, John?" inquired the Vicomte 
de Bingham blandly — "my time, did you say, has come?" 

"That's what I said," returned the other, in an un- 
changed tone. "My motto has always been 'no violence,' 
but I shouldn't stand upon ceremony with you. Don't 
you try any double-cross business on with me; because 
it's a thousand to one I get it back." 

"John — there's a good case of suspicion against you. 
Suppose I hand you over to the French police before you 
leave the street we are in? There's a fair circumstantial 


case of murder against you, John. Not that I believe it 
for an instant; but others might. How would you like that?" 
"The wind has shifted, then, has it? What about the 
positive opinion grandpa had, so early in the morning, 
that it was Brother Neel, whoever Brother Neel may turn 
out to have been? It was Brother Neel who got there 
first, said grandpa; Brother Neel who settled the deceased 
first, and who dished Clements and Company afterwards." 
"Yes, I gave you that opinion in a disinterested way 
— it's true. But with that I washed my hands of the 
entire affair. And I tell you plainly that if you drag me 
into the nefarious scheme which you appear to have been 

personally involved in " 

"Drop this, Byers! There's nothing to incriminate 
me, and that you know. Besides, you haven't looked at 
the evening paper yet. They were reading it at the 
hotel, my disinterested, venerable Bingham. The French 
police don't want any clues that you can give them to 
the — the — murderer. They have their clue. They have 
the French guard of the train; and if they hold the 
murderer, they hold the Wilmot diamonds — come!" 

The announcement should have formed an over- 
whelming surprise for Mr. Bingham, but he did not 
betray more than the astonishment of convention. 

"The guard of the train — the French guard, now!" 
he ejaculated mildly. "The scoundrel!" 

"Don't you think they're wrong, Grandpa Byers?" 
pursued Vine, alias Grainger, with a diabolical sneer. 
"Don't you think — in a quite disinterested way — that if 
they clapped their hands on Brother Neel's shoulder they 
wpuld be a very great deal nearer the mark?" 

"I should have really believed so, John, from what 
you confided to me — much against my will." 


"Ah, what a victimised old gentleman is Grandpa 
Byers! And to think that he has very likely by this time 
got the very best evidence of the murder stowed away 
in his 'office' at the place just down the street — loose 
diamonds, that is to say, to the value £ 20,000, the 
property of Stanislaus Wilmot, of Park Lane: having in- 
duced the said Neel to part with the said diamonds, or 
a proportion of them, or having taken them from him 
without directing the said NeeFs attention to the occur- 
rence!— Where's Bat?" 

"I decline to listen to your insinuations any longer. 
They are monstrous, perfectly monstrous and incoherent! 
The property has doubtless passed out of Neel's posses- 
sion, and if you want to know where it is to be found, 
I think I could indicate the place to you. He called 
this morning at the premises of his Temperance League, 
in the Boulevard Haussmann. I happened to be there 
on general business. When he arrived at the offices of 
the society, he had a parcel with him. When he came 
away, he had apparently left the parcel at those offices. 
It might be any parcel, you may say. Yes; but would 
Neel be disposed to keep property of that sort, under 
the circumstances, at his hotel apartment? And if not, 
where else could he place it? Besides, I know something 
about the I.O.T.A. Therefore, still in the most dis- 
interested manner, I would suggest that you should turn 
to the Boulevard Haussmann with as little delay as may 
be possible, John. I won't deny that I may be wrong, 
you know; but I rather fancy that I may be right." Mr. 
Bingham paused to note the effect of his statement, and 
then added, with a great deal of dignity — "In any event, 
remember, please, that I wash my hands absolutely of 
the transaction." 


Sir John appeared to be debating inwardly whether 
the news he had just been favoured with was to be re- 
lied upon. Supposing the information to be accurate, 
however, he did not see what useful purpose would be 
served by his repairing to the quarter specified. Bing- 
ham's attitude in the affair had become altogether puzzling. 
It would doubtless be better, all things considered, to ad- 
here to his resolve; Mr. Bingham should not quit his 
sight. They lapsed into a silence which Sir John was 
the first to break. 

"Where's Finch?" he again demanded. 

Before replying, M. de Bingham threw a careless 
glance at the adjacent tables. 

"We were, lucky to secure this quiet corner," said he. 

The places in front of them, and on each side, wer* 
still unoccupied; and when he turned to survey the 
tables in their rear, he found that the scene in that 
direction also remained virtually unaltered. There was 
one change, however, that should have struck him. The 
man who had been seated on the bench just on the 
other side of the barrier — the man who had his head 
bound up, and seemed to have fallen asleep — was no 
longer to be seen. Mr. Bingham's visage had borne a 
set and stern expression twice or thrice during the debate 
with his companion, but it now relaxed into wrinkles 
denoting an inward satisfaction, if not strong symptoms 
towards hilarity. It has been before observed that merri- 
ment suited Mr. Bingham's countenance. He began to 
look quite the rubicund, genial, freehanded old gentle- 
man who willingly chucks bashful fifteen under the chin, 
and distributes halfpence among the little brothers. The 
widow and the orphan might have been pardoned for 
trusting their all to Mr. Bingham (ni Byers)!, thus trans- 


figured. The widow, in particular, could hardly have re- 
sisted such a dear old gentleman, with his good-humoured 
face and twinkling eye, with his easy-going simplicity, 
and his probable tendency towards apoplectic seizure, 
which might carry him off suddenly any day. Some- 
thing or other was amusing him, that was sure. He 
sustained the suspicious, searching regard of Vine, alias 
Grainger, without in the least departing from his air of 
guileless content. On the contrary, had Sir John himself 
approached him with the orphan's piteous tale upon his 
lips, you would have felt exceedingly disappointed if this 
benevolent grandpa, assuredly meant by nature for a 
trustee, had not, in the fulness of his heart, administered 
relief unto the forlorn applicant out of the fulness of 
positively his own pocket. 

"You are putting up something, Byers," exclaimed 
his companion, in a tone of suppressed exasperation. "If 
it's at my expense, by , mind what you're about!" 

Sir John had a decidedly evil aspect as he uttered 
this menace. His gray eyes were half closed, and he 
gazed sideways from under his eyebrows in a very 
peculiar and "uncomfortable" manner indeed. With his 
head bowed, he was pulling restlessly at his moustache 
and twisting its long ends mechanically and ceaselessly 
round his fingers. He had his lips tightly compressed, 
and the corners of his mouth curved malevolently upwards. 
His Roman nose looked just now more than ever Roman. 

What could there be about this man which always 
vanquished, whenever he wished to vanquish them, not 
merely the most beauteous members of the opposite sex, 
but those who had ever passed for being the wittiest and 
the most wise? What was it? He possessed neither the 
extreme ugliness nor the remarkable beauty which have 


been the most frequent causes, perhaps, of immedicable 
infatuations among the fair. Sir John was slightly over 
the middle height; he had a manly figure; and he had, 
likewise, the habit of conquest. So far as his features 
went, the cultivated physiognomist would have read there 
resolution, desperate recklessness, and possibly a vice or 
two. There were a few other attributes which neither 
Lavater himself nor the most orthodox of his disciples 
might have dreamt of predicating, in their summary of 
Sir John. He owed a great deal to his marvellous faculty 
of dissimulation. It was most likely to this valuable ad- 
junct, aided by invincible assurance, and tact in the use 
of flattery, together with a freedom from the smallest 
scruple, that his prompt successes with the fair in general 
were to be ascribed. Men would occasionally divine 
him, and he knew well enough when he was divined. 
Only on the part of his own associates, however, could 
any such discovery or denunciation place him ill at ease. 
With all this, he never indulged in scoundrelism that 
was unnecessary. The widow and the orphan who ad- 
dressed themselves for succour to Sir John would have 
gone both unassisted and unharmed away. Quite celestially 
interesting they might have been, and either — for the 
mere sake of argument we assume this case — might have 
exerted, Niobe-like, or unlike Niobe, the full force of her 
captivations: Ernest Vine, alias Grainger, would have 
turned from them to peruse the police reports of the 
newspapers. The parish register of St. Botolph, Aldgate, 
proves that he was born and baptized in the Christian^ 
faith; but he was a Christian in whom the worship of 
shekels always dominated other descriptions of faith and 

"I have paid my little bill at that hotel you carefully 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 1 7 


lodged me in," he resumed, "and now I don't leave you, 
Byers. Where's Finch ? " 

"Pretty well, thank you, John; how are you?" returned 
Mr. Bingham, still in keen enjoyment of some mental 
picture. "I think we may now venture upon the step of 
rejoining the young gentleman. Gargon!" 

"Via, v'la, m'sieur?" 


"When you came to the hotel for Finch/' continued 
Sir John, picking up the small black leather bag he had 
brought with him from London, "I thought you said he 
was to go to work upon this Neel, at once, and that if 
the story we told you about the journey was the right 
one, the thing was as safe as houses? And now you say 
that Neel has got away from you, and left the property 
at some place here — the offices of that society — where 
it's most likely locked up in some safe. What have you 
been about, you and Bat? What have you been doing 
with your time? You let this man slip through your 
fingers, and then you come and tell me where he has 
deposited the property, as if you fancied I should run off 
to the address, and go and ask the people who live there 
to 'hand it over to me, if you please!' We've lost the 

property, and you're the man to blame. You're a 

old idiot, Byers, a idiot! I was against your 

coming into this, from the first. I told the firm we didn't 
want you in it, but I never thought you'd actually spoil 
us when there was a chance of transacting the business. 
They can say what they like, but this was business which 
I and nobody else brought into the firm; and I ought to 
have insisted upon having my own way. If I hadn't been 
straightforward and honourable with Clements, nobody 


need have known anything about it. I could have done 
it all myself. Why should I have brought the firm in?" 

"That's a matter between you and the firm. I sup- 
pose that if you didn't take business to them, you couldn't 
expect them to keep you in employment?" 

"Well, but why the should Clements bring you 

into it, and put you down for a share? What could you 
do? You could only do what you have done — spoil us!" 
The speaker, pale with rage, uttered another imprecation. 

"Clements brought me in because he had need of me 
— that's all. You couldn't make anything out of the 
transaction until you floated the property, and you couldn't 
float the property without me. Nonsense? Could you 
float it? Could Clements himself, or anyone else in the 
firm? You know you couldn't. You know how long 
you've had to hold other property, and what you've had 
to lose on it. At one time there was hardly a living to 
be made at the game for all of you, with the rents you 
have to pay, and the commissions, and the appearances 
you have to keep up. You know as well as I do that 
you've got -a roomful of good stuff that you can't pass 
on. Clements told me himself that what you hold in red 
[gold] alone is worth a fortune: only you can't put it 
through — you daren't part with it. Scotland Yard would 
be waiting on the doorstep before you got home. Well, 
I've had enough of this. Go to the devil, John — go to 
the devil!" 

"We'll all go there together," exclaimed Sir John 
fiercely. "I'll go there for you, Byers, if you've sold me!" 

They prepared to move out of the cafe\ Mr. Bingham 
found it impossible to restrain his mirth, and after shak- 
ing, for a few moments in silence, at length chuckled 
audibly until the tears came into his eyes. 



"I declare," said he, "that poor old Grandpa Byers 
can give them all a good start and a beating. Are you 
a sprint-runner, John?" 

Vine, alias Grainger, had extracted a letter from one 
of his pockets, and was re-examining its contents. 

"Listen, John. Suppose that by chance this Wilmot 
property passed very soon into the custody of Inspector 

The other folded up the sheet of note-paper he had 
been perusing, and did not immediately respond to the cue. 

"We'll pick up Finch as soon as you like," he re- 
marked sullenly; "but first of all I have a visit to make 

to the Avenue Marceau, No. " He referred again to 

the missive for the precise address — "No. 95." 

"Avenue Marceau, here, in Paris?" Mr. Bingham did 
undoubtedly exhibit surprise. "Do you know anybody 

"A somebody happens to be there who knows Grenville 
Montague Vyne, Esquire," returned Vine, alias Grainger, 
holding out the envelope. It was a letter bearing the 
name he repeated, and directed to the Poste Restante, 
Paris. As we were present while the superscription was 
being placed upon that identical envelope, we may acknow- 
ledge without any fuss or ceremony that the handwriting 
was Miss Murdoch's. "Ah," went on the enviable recipient 
of her note, cruelly inappreciative of his good fortune, but 
thawing before the astonishment betrayed by Mr. Bingham, 
"you don't know everything, old Grandpa Byers! You 
don't know, for instance, how I learnt that there would 
be diamonds to be dug out in Park Lane, and that be- 
fore the firm could deal with the case it had been put 
up by the man Remington and another. No, — you don't 
know that?" 


"If I had, Fd have turned my knowledge to better 
account than you have done, my fine fellow. Why, even 
now, you can't put two and two together!" 

"Oh, well, after a little calculation I shall arrive at 
it," replied Vine, alias Grainger, turning his half-closed 
gray eye upon Monsieur de Bingham, with an exceedingly 
sinister expression. "We put Mr. Inspector Byde upon 
the proper track for the recovery of the Wilmot parcel, 
and the efforts of that distinguished gentleman from Scot- 
land Yard become thereupon crowned with success. Then 
Mr. Inspector Byde gets hurt." 

"I don't say that it mightn't come to that," acquiesced 
the Vicomte airily. They had now gained the street, ^ 
Summoning a cab, they told the coachman to drive them 
to the Avenue Marceau. 

The feeling which asserted itself in the bosom of the 
inspector, as he also had driven away from the cafe*, was 
one of thankfulness that, after all, the case entrusted to 
him did shape into a tangible form. "If it hadn't been 
for my private sources of information," had said Vine, 
alias Grainger, "who would have known anything about 
the Wilmot diamonds?" By "who" he meant, of course, 
what member of the Clements combination. Consequently, 
this man had known of the actual existence and actual 
whereabouts of the missing valuables, and with regard to 
their abstraction must have been able to place convincing 
evidence before his associates. Stanislas Wilmot, the 
guardian of Miss Adela Knollys, had therefore made no 
false statement when he came to the Department with that 
tale of a mysterious robbery from his strong-room in Park 
Lane. The Wilmot diamonds were not fictitious; and they 
had been stolen. The inquiry became tangible once more. 


Without his own private sources of information, the 
man Vine had proceeded, "who could have put the firm 
on to Remington?" — the deceased. That brought them 
back to the case of vague suspicion with which they had 
started, pondered the inspector. As to the situation of 
Mr. Sinclair, he would have been heartily glad to see his 
way clear to the exculpation of that young gentleman. 
They were charming ladies, Mrs. Bertram and Miss Knollys 
— charming, charming ladies, he repeated, thinking solely, 
however, of Miss Knollys. For their sakes he would be 
glad if Mr. Sinclair could establish his innocence; and — 
yes, he would — he'd be willing to go out of his way if 
he could help the young man to that end. At the same 
time, the story told him by the ladies in the Avenue 
Marceau proved, for one thing, that the young man had 
been in pressing need of funds at the period of the rob- 
bery. To himself, Mr. Sinclair was unknown. Mr. Sinclair 
might be a young man capable of arguing that as an 
abettor in the despoilment of this mysteriously dishonest 
guardian, he would be merely recovering for Miss 
Knollys a portion of her withheld property. 

So much for the original theft. Now, with respect to 
the present position of the inquiry — we should see what 
the organ of the I.O.T.A. in the press would have to say! 

In accordance with instructions, Detective Toppin was 
awaiting his chief at the latter's hotel. 

"Heard the news?" demanded Toppin. 

"The French guard of the train?" 

"Oh, better than that! Look here." 

Toppin unfolded an evening newspaper, fresh from the 
printing-office. Amongst the " Derntires Nouvelles" ap- 
peared an article headed "The Assassination of an English- 
man on the Northern Railway. — A Hint for the Police." 


Premising with a laugh that a journalistic hint to the 
political police of Paris might be counted upon to carry 
as much weight as a sworn affidavit, Toppin translated 
the last paragraph of the article in question: 

"We should imagine that the indications we have 
quoted will be generally acknowledged to be beyond dis- 
pute. There can be no doubt that the leaders of the 
extraordinary movement to which we have referred made 
Paris their headquarters in the early part of the year 
now coming to an end. A passage in our correspondence 
from Vienna on March 23rd touched upon this subject in 
significant terms, and uttered a public warning which no 
Government in Europe should have found it possible to 
pass over. Unfortunately bureaucratic indolence and 
scepticism once more prevailed. The warning of our 
correspondent was completely ignored, although it had 
nowhere been denied that secret conferences of the 
federation had been held simultaneously in all the capitals 
of Europe two months before. That the headquarters 
should have been transferred to Paris is a matter of the 
gravest import. We suppose that in a country like our 
own, possessing a fuller measure of freedom than that 
which can be boasted of by any other nation in the 
whole world, some abuse of our ungrudging hospitality 
must be expected. But to say so much is to say also 
that we should hold ourselves on our guard against the 
abuses of our generous hospitality which are possible. 
The revolutionaries of the world may have welded 
themselves together, with the organization and the pro- 
gramme shadowed forth above, and may have conferred, 
as we maintain, upon this metropolis the unenviable dis- 
tinction of selecting it as the heart and centre of their 


colossal system; they may do this, and we and others 
who are not revolutionaries may remain powerless so long 
as none but legal methods are openly employed. When, 
however, they resort to means infringing the law of the 
land, even as slightly as in the few examples we have 
cited, we urge that the question becomes one for diplo- 
matic negotiation in view of common action by all the 
Governments. And how much more necessary does this 
course appear when assassination begins to take its place 
amongst the methods of the vast conspiracy we have been 
the first to denounce? The Nihilists of Russia; the 
Native Separatists of British India; the advanced Socialists 
of Spain and Germany; the German secret societies which 
spread like a network throughout the United States: all 
these, equally with our own Anarchist desperadoes, derive 
their inspiration henceforth from a common source, a 
single fount — the luminous orb of the world's intelligence, 
Paris. Those who are responsible for the preservation of 
order know full well that we are indulging in no ex- 
aggerations. We do not profess to teach them anything 
new, so far as we are dealing with the general state of 
affairs: but we can enlighten them as to one or two points 
which are not without a practical interest. The "Mael- 
strom" — for such is the portentous designation under 
which all these far-reaching agencies of trouble are 
affiliated — pursues its audacious propagande before their 
very eyes in the metropolis. If our suggestions are 
followed out we shall perhaps be told eventually that we 
have advanced allegations impossible to substantiate — 
that, unsupported by the smallest data, we are casting 
odium upon a foolish band of fussy but harmless zealots. 
Vraiment? And the Englishman who has been assas- 
sinated between Creil and Paris? And the valuables 


which were not abstracted by the assassin? And the visit 
made to the Morgue by certain individuals who were ap- 
parently known to one another, but affected to hold no 
communications one with another? We have indicated 
the Boulevard Haussmann to the police. We go no 
farther than that. It is not our business to denounce 
criminals to justice. The police must now search for 
themselves. A copy of the directory for the current year 
should amply suffice to guide them to the premises where 
important seizures of documents, plans, or ciphers may 
be operated. We happen to be in a position to inform 
our readers that a functionary of that same foolish band 
of harmless zealots formed one of the 'certain individuals' 
to whom we have just referred. Monsieur Hy is possibly 
unaware of the fact. But our ediles of the Municipal 
Council will have to vote a great deal more money to the 
Prefecture if they are to outbid the reporters of the Paris 
press in their relations with the guardians of public order. 
Monsieur Hy, who is understood to be directing the pre- 
sent inquiry, may likewise be astonished to hear that the 
functionary in question — whose tactics appear to consist 
of placing himself en Evidence as a means of disarming 
suspicion; he has become quite a familiar figure in the 
Rue Feydeau (Proh pudor!) — was accompanied at the 
Morgue by a stranger, also connected with the Boulevard 
Haussmann premises. We can state, for our own part, 
that the Foreing Resident, which is the principal organ of 
the English-speaking colonies in Paris, gives the name of 
the stranger in its column of 'Arrivals and Departures/ 
One of our re'dacteurs calls attention to a striking coin- 
cidence, just as we are going to press. We suppress the 
name for obvious reasons; but we should like to ask the 
ridacteur- en-chef of the Foreing Resident at what time he 


received the note with regard to the arrival of Monsieur 
in Paris. Did he, par hasard, travel by the night- 
mail from England — the train in which this apparently 
inexplicable murder was committed — an outrage which 
we persist in regarding as a vengeance ordered by the 
4 Maelstrom' ?" 

"That's the news!" said Toppin, laughing, when he 
had finished the article. "What do you think of it?" 

"As to their * Maelstrom,' I won't pronounce," replied 
the inspector thoughtfully. "But I have my own reasons 
for looking after the gentleman they hint at, and we 
must be beforehand with them. Suppose we want to 
enter upon premises and operate a search, what authority 
do we require?" 

"A perquisition; and that takes more than five 
minutes to get, I can tell you." 

"No other way? We will assume that what is wanted 
is a particular box — not large — or a particular bundle of 
papers, recently deposited on the premises. The parcel 
might have been lodged in some place of safety." 

"Bribe the servants, if you can wait a few hours. Bribe 
them well, and they will steal the keys — perhaps let you 
in at night, when you can have a look round for your- 
self. Are there any servants?" 

The inspector mentioned the "vivacious French 
brunette." He did not doubt the potency of a fair 
bribe with that damsel, but the negotiations might re- 
quire more time than he could spare. 

"Not at all," Toppin assured him — "just the most 
rapid at a bargain, that sort! Doesn't want to stay in 
service, that sort! Wants a wardrobe better than the 


patronne's, and jewellery. I'll undertake to havef the 
search made by to-morrow morning." 

"Well — no," said the inspector — "the case is ripe 
enough now, I think. We can go straight to the point 
now, I think. Come round with me to the Rue de Com- 
piegne, Hotel des Nations. That's where he has been 
staying, this Monsieur , otherwise Brother Neel." 


"The Mysterious Affair of the Gare du Nord — Im- 
portant Arrest! Demandez le 'Journal du Soir' '/" (( De- 
mandez ' U Echotier* ! — The Crime on the Northern 
Railway — Curious Indications — A Strange Story! — 
' U Echotier ' ! Vient de paraitre ! !" 

These were the cries which Inspector Byde and De- 
tective Toppin encountered as they crossed the Rue 
Lafayette on their way to the Rue de Compiegne. The 
rival hawkers thrust their evening papers before the faces 
of the two colleagues, but Toppin flourished in return the 
journal from which he had translated the article printed 
in the Latest News. It was the Echotier, containing the 
"indices curieux" that we have just seen. 

"That important arrest — what is it?" asked his 
superior officer — "the French guard?" 

"Yes," said Toppin, "and they'll let him out to- 
morrow. There's nothing in it. Before coming on to 
you, I looked in again on Monsieur Hy, and — oh, he's 
too clever, he's much too clever for a world like this! — 
he wants to make out that they are letting the guard go 
in order to pick him up again next week, with an ac- 
complice and the stolen property, all complete. These 
papers don't know that yet. The Journal du Soir has 


only got as far as the arrest, which I heard all about at 
the Prefecture this morning." 

He then repeated for the inspector's information cer- 
tain passages in the earlier interview with Monsieur Hy, 
of which an account has been placed before the reader. 
With regard to the second interview, during the after- 
noon, it was all very well for Monsieur Hy to play the 
excessively malin, but the fact must be, added Mr. Toppin, 
that the case against the French guard had completely 
broken down. It seemed that when he had brought the 
night-mail into Paris, and cleared the train, this man was 
entitled to a day off duty. On the present occasion he 
had obtained leave of absence for a couple of days by 
arrangement with a fellow-employ^, who was to replace 
him. Well, he had celebrated his holiday by a heavy 
drinking bout, as appeared to be his custom. The police 
had found him helplessly intoxicated in a cabaret near his 
lodging. He had been home to take off his uniform, 
and the police had discovered a revolver hidden amongst 
his clothes. 

"'Hidden!'" commented the inspector. "The worst 
species of impressionism!" 

"I beg pardon?" queried Mr. Toppin, gaping at his 
superior officer. 

. "Why can't they say they 'discovered a revolver 
amongst his clothes?' That's all they're entitled to say — 
and see how it tones it down!" 

"Then the bullet fitted into the chambers of the re- 

"Ah, they're not rare, friend Toppin — coincidences 
like that And who has decided that the bullet fits into 
the chambers of the revolver? Because I remember a 
case once — it was all circumstantial — when a bullet was 


reported to us as fitting into a particular fire-arm, and it 
was nobody's business for a few days to make the test. 
The bullet certainly would go into the barrel and come 
out again — oh, there was no mistake about that! — only 
the bullet was more than a shade too small to have been 
used with any weapon of that calibre. I remember an- 
other circumstantial case in which the ball had been 
flattened by the obstacle it had encountered, and the 
fact had not been properly allowed for. Has this pri- 
soner offered any statement?" 

"They told me this afternoon that he professes to be 
able to account for the whole of his time — rather dif- 
ficult, I should fancy, for the guard of a train. They 
have lighted upon nothing which points to any theft in 
the search they have carried out on this fellow's pre- 
mises, etc.; but of course he would have had time to get 
compromising objects out of the way. What sort of an 
explanation he can furnish I must say I don't under- 
stand: unless he means to prove that from Creil to Paris 
he was in the company of the other guard, or something 
of that kind." 

"Instead of letting this man out to-morrow," observed 
the inspector jocularly, "they ought to put the other 
guard in with him. Why, they'll be apprehending us 
next, Toppin — they'll be laying their hands on you and 

" Quite capable of it," answered Toppin, with a queer 
glance at his chief. 

The tall, angular dame presiding at the bureau of 
the Hdtel des Nations, Rue de Compiegne, replied to 
their inquiry for Mr. Neel that he had not yet come in. 
This was nevertheless his usual hour — in fact, a little 
past his usual hour. 


"Does he not dine here, at the table d'hote, every 
evening?" asked the inspector, looking at his watch. 

"Oh, yes," responded the angular dame, who, like 
all her compatriots in the hotel bureaus near the great 
termini, spoke English perfectly, and another language 
or two, perhaps, quite as well — "he dine all evenings." 

"Half-past five," murmured the inspector, mechanic- 
ally consulting his watch once more — "and your table 
d hote — at what time do you hold it?" 

"There is two: the fierced at six-dirty, and the others 
at sayven." 

The speaker pointed to a framed announcement of 
these facts, and, behind the inspector's shoulder, threw 
killing regards at Toppin, who was really a fine figure 
of a young man, though inaccessible, it seemed, to the 
blandishments of maturity. 

"Half-past five," muttered Mr. Byde, again — "if he 
comes in after six, I can hardly manage it." 

"Excuse me, inspector," said his colleague in an un- 
dertone, as they stood on one side — "but I suppose that 
when you travel you are always armed?" 

"What should you think?" answered Mr. Byde, staring 
at the young man. 

"The usual, I suppose?" 

"And so they'd be capable of putting their hands on 
me, friend Toppin?" 

"Well, the police here are no respecters of persons, 
you know — when they're dealing wtfi foreigners. I 
thought I'd just mention it." 

The inspector was about to respond, but checked 
himself. Brother Neel entered from the street. Had 
nothing arrived for him, inquired the new-comer, ad- 
dressing the lady president of the bureau — no telegram? 


"No, sair, if you please, not! mats " 


"There is come those gentlymen — there." 
Brother Neel turned in the direction indicated, and 
for the moment did not recognise the burly middle-aged 
man who, stationed with a companion in the obscure re- 
cess of the dining-room side-door, appeared to be scru- 
tinising him very narrowly indeed. After a slight hesi- 
tation, however, he recollected Mr. Smithson, and ad- 
vanced, repeating: 

"Oh, my dear friend, pardon me! — Mr. Smithson, of 
course. A thousand pardons — a thousand, thousand par- 
dons. Pre-occupied, dear friend. An inconceivable affair! 
So kind of you to call, so very kind of you to call!" 

"A minute — can you spare me a minute?" asked the 

"Certainly, my dear friend, Mr. Smithson, certainly. 
Come upstairs, my dear friend. Have you seen this 
abominable attack upon the 'Iota'? Have you read that 
unscrupulous evening newspaper? Can you imagine that 
such reckless firebrands, or such foolish, credulous alarm- 
ists could be so," etc., etc. 

Inspector Byde and Mr. Toppin both evinced as keen 
an interest in the structural surroundings through which 
they followed Brother Neel, as in the temperance lecturer's 
cumulative denunciations of the odium wrongfully cast 
upon the I.O.T.A. Mr. Toppin's mental notes might have 
been open to the objection of being too obviously, too 
manifestly, taken down. Not a single means of egress 
could have escaped that searching eye. He glared at a 
bricked-up doorway; tapped at a worm-eaten wainscoting; 
peeped through the hinge of a partly-open door, upon 
the other side of which a handsome gentleman who had 


tied a white cravat to his perfect satisfaction was smiling 
at himself in a mirror, and making poses. On their way 
along the corridor to the apartment occupied by Brother 
Neel, they met the Anarchist "boots," reluctantly bearing 
on his shoulders the substantial luggage of a bourgeois. 
He scowled at Toppin, as the latter, more sturdily built 
than he, and with the advantage of a head at least in 
height, swung by — a scowl so unprovoked and so ma- 
lignant, that Toppin — who did not know of his Anarchist 
hatred for every species of superiority; for the superiority 
of mere physique as well as for that of intellect, or wealth, 
or rank — pulled up for an instant and took a note of 
him, mentally, that ought to have proved ineradicable. 

Arrived at the extremity of the corridor, Brother Neel 
let himself into his apartment and proceeded to light the 
wax candles on the mantelpiece. 

"Won't our dear friend step in, too?" said he, as 
Mr. Toppin loitered on the mat outside, and shuffled his 
feet. Toppin obeyed the suggestion, closed the door, 
and posted himself on the mat inside, as though he were 
a sentinel on duty. 

The inspector borrowed a candlestick from his host 
and made a tour round the large room. Espying the door 
of communication to the left on entering, he demanded 
in a low tone "what might be on the other side of it?" 

Brother Neel, astonished at his question and his move- 
ments, stopped in placing chairs for his guests, and re- 
plied in a low tone, likewise, that he was sure he could 
not say, but that no doubt it could be easily ascertained. 
The door most likely would communicate with some other 
hotel apartment, similar to his own. When he had taken 
up his quarters here the neighbouring apartment was un- 
occupied, but he had heard someone stirring to-day, he 


thought, and by this time he most probably had been 
furnished with a neighbour — unless, indeed, the persons 
moving about the room had been employes of the esta- 

"We don't need to be overheard," remarked Mr.Byde, 
still lowering his voice, "and before we go on, I think it 
might be well to be assured upon the point." 

The imminent smile quite died away. Brother Neel 
ran his fingers through the plastered locks of hair which 
he wore so vigorously brushed back from his forehead 
and behind his ears, and which terminated in an oily 
fringe at the nape of his neck. He ran his fingers twice 
through his hair in a somewhat nervous manner. 

"Why, this is very* singular!" said he. "Precautions? 
—Precautions against listeners? In whose interest are 
they adopted — why adopt them?" 

"We'll come to that," answered the inspector, his 
voice sunk to little more than a whisper. "Personally, 
I hate being overheard, whenever or wherever it may 
chance to be — and so does my friend here. It's a little 
weakness which we are both subject to. We only ap- 
prove of listeners when we've reasons for particularly 
wishing to be overheard. At present there are no such 
reasons. You don't know my friend, I think?" 

Brother Neel responded with a gesture meant no 
doubt to assure the sentinel at the door that the privilege 
of forming his acquaintance, though at the eleventh hour, 
was one which he, Brother Neel, should always prize. 
The smile did not dawn, however, nor did the eloquent 
lecturer of the I.O.T.A. find his resonant voice. Mr. 
Toppin returned the gesture with a virile dignity, sniffed, 
and fastened his eyes upon his superior officer. Mr. 
Byde moved a step nearer his host, and added: 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 1 8 


"Detective Toppin, of Scotland Yard." 

"Scotland Yard!" 

The exchange of whispers, the immobility of the 
three figures, the uncertain shadows in the flickering 
light, lent to the scene a sudden dramatic impressive- 

"Detective Toppin, acting with myself in this inquiry. 
And my name is not Smithson. I am Inspector George 
Byde, of the V Division." 

Brother Neel remained standing sideways at the 
hearth — his elbow on the mantelpiece, his head sup- 
ported by his hand, and part of his features illumined 
with distinctness. 

"Have you any questions to ask?" continued the 
inspector monotonously. 


"Any observations to make?" 


"Any statement to offer?" 

Brother Neel paused before replying to the third 

"No," he repeated, at length. 

"Then you will allow us to go on with our inquiry 
in your presence?" 

"I have no desire to stop you in the performance of 
any duty you may have to discharge," said the tem- 
perance lecturer slowly — "neither any desire nor any 
motive. I shall be glad to know, however, in what way 
/ can be connected with investigations in Paris by gen- 
tlemen from Scotland Yard?" 

"You shall know in one moment. First of all — 
excuse me " the inspector moved towards the bell- 
rope, and rang. "In one moment you shall hear." 


They waited in silence for an answer to the sum- 
mons. Presently footsteps were heard in the corridor, 
and a knock followed. 

"Entrezf" called Brother Neel, and Mr. Toppin 
opened the door. 

The Anarchist appeared upon the threshold, his arms 
laden with faggots for the lire. 

"This man does not understand English," premised 
Brother Neel. 

"I'll interrogate him for you, guardedly, on the points 
you mentioned, if you like," observed Toppin to his 
colleague; adding to the Anarchist in the latter" s language 
— "Put those things down for a minute. We want to 
ask you a question or two." 

"I am not here to answer questions," was the sullen 
response. "I am here to clean your boots, to carry your 
luggage, and to light your fires." 

"Ah, you must be just the man we would prefer to 
talk to. — You are for the prochaine, are you not?" de- 
manded Toppin shrewdly. "Well, in our own country 
so are we!" 

"You!" muttered the man, with a sneer, as his glance 
wandered from Mr. Toppin to the figure at the mantel- 

" Vive la prochaine! Vive la revolution socialel" ex- 
claimed Toppin. "Will you say as much?" 

" Vive la revolution sociale!" responded the other 

"Among compagnons, no humbug — no standing upon 
ceremony!" Toppin produced a small gold coin, and 
tendered it in off-hand fashion. 

''Pardon — excuse — I cannot!" The scowl began to 

gather again. 



"For the cause!" 

"For the cause!" The speaker gazed at his inter- 
locutor with an expression of mingled scorn and incre- 
dulity. "What species of revolutionist can you be, com- 
pagnon self-styled? The true revolutionist does not 
employ: he only serves — until the joyful coming of the 

"Des chansons —des chansons! In our country the 
compagnon both serves the cause and employs the bour- 
geoisie. Come — accept the obole of more fortunate com- 
rades — it's your duty to the cause — the revolutionary 

"Ah! the revolutionary obole, then " he placed 

his burden on the floor, and took the piece of money. 
With the door once more closed, and after a fresh re- 
minder as to possible listeners, Inspector Byde, through 
his subordinate, put a few questions to the Anarchist 
which very considerably astonished Brother Bamber's 
London colleague. One or two of the questions were 
answered in the affirmative. 

"Now, then," proceeded Mr. Byde, "I want to engage 
the next room for to-night." 

That would be impossible, intimated the Anarchist, 
sullen from force of habit, but won over by the batch 
of questions which had astonished Brother Bamber's 
colleague; it would be impossible, because the English 
bourgeois who had arrived in ill-health early that morning 
had taken that very room, and was occupying it stilL 
Was there a pampered English bourgeois at that present 
moment in the adjoining room? Of course, he was at 
that present moment in the adjoining room — seeing that 
the whole day long he had not quitted it, being — as his 
elderly accomplice in the exploitation of the working- 


man, another bourgeois; mat's un vrai type de Vexploiteur, 
celui-la! had stated — by the physician's order confined 
to his bed — eh, qu'il creve, done ! Un faineant de moins 
— quel malheur! 

"I may have to beg your hospitality for to-night," 
observed Mr. Byde to Brother Neel, "unless you will 
favour me by accepting my own. We shall see." 

"From what I understand," was the reply, "your 
business tallies with that monstrous invention of the 
evening journal? What — as men of the world you can 
believe that story for a single moment, or any story like 
it? The I.O.T.A. implicated in dynamite plots! But 
you shall do as you think well, and I am at your service. 
There is one preliminary which you will be good enough 
to fulfil. You gentlemen are doubtless what you repre- 
sent yourselves to be; but I have not yet seen your 

"Dismiss that man, Toppin," said the inspector. 

Mr. Toppin asked for news of their Anarchist's lodge, 
"The Iron Hand," and promised to attend one of the 
Sunday conferences. He then helped him up with the 
bundle of faggots, solemnly exchanged the salutation, 
and showed him out. 

"My colleague here is a Paris agent of the Criminal 
Investigation Department," resumed the inspector, "and 
is well known at the Prefecture. With regard to myself, 
you are probably not unacquainted with my name, Mr. 
Neel." He handed one of his official cards to the tra- 
velling lecturer of the I.O.T. A. 

"Oh, I have read about Inspector Byde," said Brother 
Neel maliciously. " I should have thought he would have 
been satisfied with one blunder. It was a blunder of 
sufficient magnitude, one might have fancied!" 


"Very well. Listen. You deposited a parcel at the 
offices of the International Organization of Total Ab- 
stainers, Boulevard Haussmann, in the course of this 
morning ?" Brother Neel turned abruptly away from the 
flickering candles. His arms fell by his side. "Did 
you not?" 

"I did," he replied, with an effort, — "what then?" 

"I have to request that you will enable me to examine 
the contents of that parcel." 

"The contents?" Draft reports and returns relating 
to the business of the I.O.T.A.; statistics, pamphlets — 
reprints of a speech by Sir Wilful Jawson in the House 
of Commons. What can there be in matters of that 
description, pray, to concern Inspector Byde?" 

"My request is to receive the parcel, intact, for the 
purpose of personally examining its contents." 

Brother Neel hesitated again. His manner betrayed 
so evident a calculation of chances that Detective Toppin 
made another hasty survey of the apartment, as if 
he suspected the existence of concealed means of 

"You are an adroit member of your profession, Mr. 
Byde," resumed their host, — "I don't deny your adroit- 
ness. But, believe me, you are on a mistaken course. 
The thing is absurd altogether. There is absolutely no- 
thing of a political character in the parcel which you say 
you want to examine." 

"There is nothing of a political character about the 
objects which I expect to find." 

Mr. Toppin opened his eyes very widely. What on 
earth could his superior officer be driving at? And what 
was the matter with the temperance gentleman, all at 


"We are pressed for time," added the inspector, still 
in that hushed monotone. 

"I am innocent," whispered Brother Neel, sinking into 
a chair. 

"Of what?" asked the inspector. "Stay where you 
are, Toppin!" 

"As you say," returned their host firmly, raising his 
head and looking his questioner in the face: "As you 
say — of what? — You shall see the contents of the parcel, 

"That's right! — at once, then. We'll proceed imme- 
diately to the premises in the Boulevard Haussmann." 

"Promise me one thing, gentlemen — promise that you 
will not place me under arrest?" 

"That's as may be," said the inspector — "that will 

"I implore you to think of my position — think of the 
cause, I implore you!" 

"We shall do nothing that the circumstances may not 
warrant. We shall of course avoid subjecting you to un- 
necessary inconvenience. Be good enough to step down- 
stairs, Mr. Toppin, and send for a cab." Mr. Toppin 
obeyed. "In the meantime," continued Mr. Byde, "it is 
my duty to caution you against making any statements 
which might be used against you as evidence. Any ex- 
planations, however, which you may desire to furnish, 
we are of course bound to listen to." 

Brother Neel had retained his overcoat throughout 
the interview. He now crossed the room to take up his 
hat and walking-stick. 

"Never mind your walking-stick," observed the in- 
spector, who had undemonstratively placed himself be- 
tween his host and the door, "you may as well leave 


that here. And 1 don't wish to search you, but 

there are no weapons about you, I suppose?" 

"Weapons? Oh dear no!" 

"Button up your coat then, sir, if you please." 

Mr. Toppin was soon heard hastening back. Tiiey 
quitted the room in silence, and in silence returned along 
the corridor and down the stairs. Mr. Toppin led the 
way, the inspector bringing up the rear. 

When they arrived at the bureau on the ground-fioor, 
Brother Neel stepped aside to inquire again whether 
any missive or message had been delivered for him — 
whether there was no telegram. Nothing had been de- 
livered for him, replied the lady president of the bureau 
snappishly. They had interrupted her in an operation 
of the toilette. Saffron, alas, were the once rose-fair 
cheeks, now wrinkled superciliously, and brick-red was 
the Grecian nose; and this proud organ she had been 
patting and stroking in front of a hand-glass with the 
anemone of the boudoir, a white and fluffy growth, choked 
with poudre de riz. Should they reckon upon Monsieur 
Nill for dinner, she asked, launching at the irresistible 
Toppin the brightest of an ex-beauty's languishing re- 

Before responding, Brother Neel glanced at Mr. Byde. 

"Tell her yes," the latter answered; "at seven o'clock, 
yourself and perhaps a friend or two. If you can get 
back in time for it, Toppin and I may like to join you 
at the table d'kdte." 

"Demandez le 'Bulletin!' — The body at the Morgue!" 
"Demandez le 'Journal du Soirl' — The Drama of the 
Gare du Nord!" " ' UEchotier!' Vient de paraitre!— 
The Conspirators of the Boulevard Haussmann! — De- 
mandez 'UEchotier!"' 


At frequent points upon their route newsvendors met 
them with these cries. As their cab turned out of the 
Rue Lafayette into the Boulevard Haussmann, a man ran 
by the side of the vehicle, shouting the contents of an 
evening paper, and thrusting a folded copy of the sheet 
through the window: 

"Deux sous, ' L'Echotier* — deux sous! — The New 
Internationale! — Foreign Revolutionists in the Boulevard 
Haussmann! — Deux sous f ' UEchotier' — just out! — Lisez 
YEchotier — deux sous! 3 ' 

"My God!" burst forth Brother Neel, "what a fearful 

"Tell me," demanded the inspector, as their cab 
drew up before the offices of the I.O.T.A., in the more 
tranquil portion of the thoroughfare, some distance farther 
along, "does the gentleman whose name appears on this 
plate — Mr. Bamber — does that gentleman know the pre- 
cise contents of the parcel you left here?" 
"He does not." 

"Weigh your words before replying; does anyone but 
yourself know of the precise contents?" 

The other was on the point of answering, but sud- 
denly stopped. A new idea seemed to strike him. 

"Why," he exclaimed vehemently, "your information 
must have come from Mr. Bamber!" 


"No? Then I have told you all I have to say/ sir!" 

"Excuse me. If we find this parcel as you left it, 
no one but yourself can have been acquainted with the 

"I have nothing to add." 

"Very well. Toppin, tell the man to wait; Ve shall 


want him to take us back. Come upstairs with us. I 
may want your evidence, hereafter." 

On reaching the third floor, where the highly-polished 
brass plate of the I.O.T.A. shone radiantly under the gas, 
Mr. Byde informed the temperance lecturer that he as 
well as Mr. Toppin would assume the rdle of simple 
spectator during their brief stay on these premises. There 
was no intention of discrediting Brother Neel unneces- 
sarily. It would therefore be for Brother Bamber's col- 
league to recover the parcel without loss of time, to as- 
sure himself that it had not been tampered with, and to 
at once return with his companions. This rapidly stated, 
the inspector rang at the front door. 

To their summons came no response. The inspector 
rang again, and still there was no answer. Mr. Toppin, 
whom the proceedings of the last half-hour had some- 
what bewildered, began to exhibit symptoms of dis- 
quietude. A third time the inspector rang. 

It was the "vivacious French brunette" who at length 
opened the door. 

"Monsieur Bambaire?" demanded that functionary's 

Yes, monsieur was at home; in his bureau she be- 
lieved. Would these gentlemen give themselves the 
trouble to step in and seat themselves? Very busy, Mon- 
sieur Bambaire! She hardly ventured to disturb him; 
but affairs of importance, without doubt? 

Brother Neel handed the young woman his card, in 
order that there should be no mistake. She had shot a 
look of recognition at Mr. Byde, and had commenced 
the smile which she knew called up a pair of dimples. 
During the production of the card, however, she had 
had time to survey the form and features of the bemused 


Toppin. It was for the latter^ benefit, not for Mr. Byde, 
that she continued and sustained that widely arch and 
dimpling smile. She shut her chin down tightly on her 
chest as usual, opened and closed her eyes with the in- 
cessant motion which we know to be an unerring sign of 
artlessness in members of the dominant sex in many 
parts of the civilized world, and in mistresses as well as 
maids — perhaps in the mistresses more commonly than 
in their maids; and she tripped away with the short and 
studied steps that in males we often call a strut, and in 
females dainty grace. 

"Ah, dear friends — come in! Come in, dear friends !" 
Brother Bamber, with a pen in one hand and some sheets 
of foolscap in the other, emerged from his private office 
by the doorway communicating with the vestibule. "Hard 
at work — you see me hard at work! Our dear brother 
there understands what labour it involves — the main- 
tenance and furtherance of an organization, with its 
multitudinous detail and its multifarious claims. Ahem! 
Pray come in, dear friends. A recruit, our dear young 
friend here? Welcome, welcome !" 

Brother Bamber enveloped Mr. Toppin with his fixed, 
fraternal smile. 

To explain their errand proved the simplest of tasks 
for Brother Neel. He had found that the papers which 
he had left in his colleague's care would be indispensable 
to him that evening. These gentlemen had kindly ac- 
companied him to the premises of the I.O.T.A. He re- 
gretted infinitely to be breaking in upon the grave pre- 
occupations of his colleague, unsparing as he was of 
himself, and indefatigable in the interests of the cause; 
but there were documents in the parcel he had left with 


him which he should absolutely need to consult. So 
sorry — so very sorry! But the cause before everything — 
was it not so? 

The self-possession of the speaker, as he proceeded 
with various observations in his platform voice, impressed 
Mr. Byde as particularly admirable. He listened with an 
almost aesthetic gusto to the lecturer's fine tones, and the 
beatitude of this platform physiognomy filled him with a 
serene bliss, a secular exultation. If he could bring the 
case home to a man like Brother Neel! 

What a triumph for him at the Yard! What a cap- 
ture! What a prisoner he'd make — a fellow like this, 
with a voice like that, and, as grandpa had put it, the 
"gift of the gab!" Lord — how the trial would be re- 
ported, to be sure! Great big lines on the contents-bills 
of the London evening papers, all the evidence reported 
the next morning fully, his own examination-in-chief and 
cross-examination — ah, he'd like to see the counsel on 
the other side who'd shake him. Counsel? Yes, he 
knew well enough whom they'd give the brief to, on the 
other side, to lead — Shoddy, Q.C., who frightened them 
all, when he rose up to smash a witness. They should 
see how Shoddy would get on with him, George Byde, 
of the V Division! That Q.C. had had the best of it, 
when they last met, in the great temperance prosecution, 
which had broken down. On that occasion he, Byde, 
had been misinformed ; and Shoddy had upset him al- 
together, with his minute system of cross-examination. 
But this time there would be no error. He'd have the 
case in a nutshell; and he'd just show them at the Yard 
how Shoddy, Q.C, was to be discomfited! And what 
was more, he'd wake up some of the knowing ones at 
the Yard! He'd read them a lesson on impressionism 


and rule-of-thumb. None of them appeared to divine 
that in their business lay vast possibilities of scientific 
method. It was his misfortune to be incapable, edu- 
cationally, of exploring, defining, and expounding those 
methods proper to the domain of pure reason, as his son 
would say; but at any rate the conception was his own 
— the conception of a scientifically-trained detective force 
applying mathematics to their regular work, reasoning on 
infallible processes, with symbols and by formulas. He 
might be incapable of realizing the conception, but there 
was his son Edgar! 

They had all three followed Brother Bamber into his 
bureau. Their host had looked about for his keys, and 
had then gone to unlock a small safe which stood in 
one corner. He drew the brown-paper parcel from the 
lower shelf of the safe, and handed it to his colleague. 
The latter received it without pausing in his observa- 
tions upon the progress of the cause. It was a pure and 
lofty cause, he said. It stimulated moral qualities which 
too generally, etc., etc.; and it tended with certainty, if 
by slow degrees, to kill and eliminate all those germs 
of social morbidity which, etc., etc. 

"Is that your package, then" — asked the inspector, 
with what appeared to be merely formal concern — "is 
that what you wished to bring away?" 

"That is the bundle of papers, yes," replied Brother 
Neel, glancing at the unbroken seal and at the tightly 
knotted cord. 

"It has been in secure keeping," remarked the in- 
spector jocularly, indicating the safe. "Robbers would 
not get at your papers locked up in there?" 

"Well, I just lodged the parcel there, by the side of 


other documents/' said Brother Bamber, with his fraternal 

The gold stoppings of his front teeth gleamed again, 
and he pushed his gold-rimmed spectacles close up to 
his sandy eyelashes and silky eyebrows. 

Brother Neel would have been pleased to pay his 
respects to Mrs. Bamber; but that lady was not at home 
just now, her husband stated. She had not yet returned 
from the lecture-room, nor would she be back for perhaps 
three-quarters of an hour. A true helpmate, Mrs. Bamber; 
yes, were it not for Mrs. Bamber, dear friends, the routine 
work alone of the Paris branch — the daily routine work, 
dear friends — would be crushing, overwhelming, tutc-a- 
fay accablant, as the French said! 

None of the visitors had yet spoken of the sensational 
news served up that evening by the Echotier. 

Had Brother Bamber seen to-night's papers, now de- 
manded his colleague, stopping at the threshold of the 
offices, and bending upon the Paris agent of the LO.T.A. 
a look in which Inspector Byde clearly distinguished mis- 
trust. As yet he had not seen a single evening journal, 
responded Brother Bamber — not one, not one! Too 
busy. Organization- Multitudinous detail. Multifarious 
claims. Enormous responsibility, the Paris branch. Great 
cause, the I.O.T.A. — noble enterprise! He gleamed at 
them fraternally, and adjusted his gold-rimmed spectacles. 

Brother Neel relinquished his copy of the Eckotier, 
for his colleague to peruse when he found a little leisure. 

They drove back in the direction of the Gare du 
Nord. It was not, however, to the Rue de Compi&gne 
that the inspector proceeded. The address he gave was 
that of his own hotel. 

Arrived at his destination, the inspector conducted 



his companions in silence to his private apartment He 
had taken the parcel into his own charge, and, as soon 
as they were secure from intrusion, he prepared to sever 
the cords which bound up the I.O.T.A. papers. Brother 
Neel stayed him with an impulsive gesture. 

"Be careful — I warn you to be careful in whatever 
course you may be going to adopt!" urged the temper- 
ance lecturer, with his hand on the inspector's arm. 

It might be anger that had paled his cheeks — it might 
be anger that shook his voice and palsied his hands: 
anger equally with apprehension — conscious innocence 
equally with conscious guilt. 

"If you have any statement to make," returned Mr. 
Toppin's superior officer, in a business-like tone, "we 
can hear it Only be quick, please!" 

He paused for the other to continue. 

"The society I represent possesses friends in high 
quarters. Be careful! We are a powerful organization!" 

Mr. Byde waited. Mr. Toppin flushed with the anti- 
cipation of triumph. At the same time Mr. Toppin could 
not altogether make it out. 

"If the great cause I represent, with all the influential 
interests that are engaged in it, should be damaged in 
my person, remember " 

" Come, come, sir," replied Inspector Byde, " you have 
nothing to complain of. You are not in custody. Is that 

Brother Neel transferred his trembling fingers from 
the inspector's arm to the sealed cover of the parcel itself. 

"I know you by repute, Inspector Byde," he went on, 
"and I expect no mercy at your hands. But you are 
wrong. You are on the brink of another great mistake. 
Can you not give me the respite of a day — one day?" 


The inspector pursed up his lips, raised his eyebrows, 
and very slowly shook his head. 

"I tell you, you are zvrong — WRONG!" thundered 
Brother Neel, with a sudden maniacal rage. "I — tell 


Mr. Toppin took his hands out of his pockets, and 
stood with his arms loosely hung ready for a spring. 

"There is only one thing I understand," said the in- 
spector, still calmly, bending over the table, "and that's 

" Evidence ! — ha ! — evidence ! — Listen , you obtuse 
clown " 

"Enough of this," interrupted the inspector quietly; 
"another man in my place might have passed you on to 
the authorities here for your attempts at intimidation 
alone. We must go on. I am responsible to my 

"And some of your superiors are at our head!" 

"And if they were found with stolen property in their 
possession, under circumstances they were unable to ex- 
plain, they would be treated just as you will be treated, 
sir — neither more nor less. For shame, sir — for shame!" 

Brother Neel flung his arm up with an air of reck- 
lessness. His eyes sparkling and his forehead heavily 
knitted, he began to pace up and down the inspector's 
private sitting-room. Every now and then he would toss 
his long, dark, oily locks back from his forehead and 
behind his ears. It was an effective gesture for any 
public scene. In this limited space, with only two spec- 
tators in the gallery, and both of them in their ways of 
thought exceedingly matter-of-fact, this leonine carriage 
of the head, this ample, commanding action of the arm, 
seemed unnecessary and ridiculous. Brother Neel, of 


the International Organization of Total Abstainers, looked 
every inch a charlatan. 

Detective Toppin had stepped round to the door-mat 
as before. 

"That's the article I want to look at," said the in- 
spector, as the packet in white tissue-paper slipped out 
from the midst of the printed and manuscript documents 
he had spread along on either side, on breaking the 
inner seals. The white tissue-paper bore stains and 
blotches which, even in the imperfect light of the candles, 
Toppin could perceive from the door. 

With great care the inspector stripped off the white 
tissue covering, and unfastened the green silk binding 
together the sides of the bulky pocket-book, or letter- 
case, as it appeared to Toppin. 

Almost as soon as the silk thread had been removed 
from this letter-case or pocket-book, a little heap of glitter- 
ing crystals tumbled from both its sides on to the table. 

"'Cri nom de noms!" ejaculated Toppin. "Dia- 

"Yes," answered Brother Neel sneeringly, his head 
thrown back, and his arms folded on his chest — "dia- 


The inspector uttered an exclamation of ungovernable 
surprise, and, picking up half a dozen of the objects in 
question, held them for examination close to the flame of 
the candle. 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 1 9 



It was undoubtedly an exclamation of surprise — the 
exclamation that had burst from the inspector as his eye 
fell on the heap of brilliants which had poured from the 
twin sides of the small portfolio. Toppin could not see 
the brilliants from his position at the door. Around them 
like a rampart lay the documents belonging to the 

"Yes, diamonds!" reiterated Brother Neel, with a 
sneer of still greater intensity, at once mocking and de- 
fiant — " yes, diamonds ! " 

" Cre nom de noms de notns!" 

In his excitement Mr. Toppin swore with triple force 
in French. It dawned upon him now that these were the 
Wilmot diamonds, value ^20,000. 

The half-dozen stones picked up at random by In- 
spector Byde were promptly replaced, and with the rest 
put back into the folding velvet case. The inspector 
was not by any means a bad judge of precious stones. 

"Are these your property?" said he, leaning forward, 
with both hands on the table; retaining his hold, how- 
ever, on the small portfolio. 

"No, they are not," replied Brother Neel. 

"Can you account for their being in your possession?" 

"I can." 

"At once, then, please!" 

"I can give the clearest account of their being in my 
temporary possession — those diamonds," returned Brother 
Neel deliberately. "In twenty-four hours I shall be able 
to furnish you with the fullest explanation, I think/' 


"Twenty-four hours!" 

"Yes, sir — that's what I said: twenty-four hours. Per- 
haps less; not more, I should hope." 

"I should hope not, too. Try and make it less, Mr. 
Neel — in your own interest, try and make it a good deal 
less. They don't allow us little vacations of that sort at 
Scotland Yard." 

"For the moment I am not my own master." 

"Come, come, sir — a detail or two. How did these 
valuables pass into your possession?" 

"I desire to postpone my answer, which will be com- 
plete and authoritative when I give it." 

" When did they pass into your possession?" 

"I must ask you to consider that as bound up with 
the other question." 

"Oh, mysteries, please! You are speaking to police- 
officers. Realize the situation, sir." 

"For the moment I can say no more. Do as you 
choose. I realize the situation — oh, don't be alarmed, I 
realize it! In a parcel of which I admit the ownership, 
amidst the documents of the society employing me, and 
virtually responsible for my character, you find extremely 
valuable property secreted — for that is what it amounts 
to, does it not, Mr. Inspector Byde? — secreted. The in- 
ference is that I have stolen this property, or that I am 
the confederate of the actual thieves. Very well, sir. Do 
as you think proper. I cautioned you at the outset; I tell 
you now that all can be explained to you in, say, twenty- 
four hours. If you cannot wait, you cannot wait! Take 
the risk. Appearances are with you, although if you 
trust to them you will rue it. I don't know that I need 
dread the consequences of your hasty action, either for 

myself or for my cause. Do as you wish, Mr. Byde, 



Place me under arrest. I shall be delighted to see you 
perpetrate another blunder." 

Without being aware of it, Brother Neel had hit the 
inspector on a weak spot Mr. Byde's morbid mistrust 
of "appearances" has been alluded to before. He took 
refuge in a curt platitude, hoping that the other's fury 
might prevent him from remaining passive. 

"Besides," resumed the temperance lecturer roughly, 
"you are in a foreign country, please to recollect Ha! 
Place me under arrest? You will be careful to keep your 
hands off me, both of you. Where is your warrant to 
take me into custody? I was weak — by the Lord Harry, 
now I think of it, I was incredibly weak! — to yield in 
the first place to your meddling with my personal affairs. 
Arrest me at your peril!" 

"Toppin can do it in a few minutes, if you'd like to 
see how it's to be done," observed the inspector. "I'm 
afraid you don't quite grasp the situation yet. A man 
believed to have had stolen property in his possession was 
found murdered in the mail-train which arrived in Paris 
from London early in the morning. The property in 
question was missing. You, who were a traveller by the 
same train, are now found, on the second evening after 
the murder, to have the missing property in your pos- 
session: I won't say 'secreted.' Now, the French police 
— with whom Mr. Toppin has official relations — are very 
actively occupied in seeking out traces of the crime; and 
if you were indicated to them you may depend upon it 
that without waiting twenty-four minutes, to say nothing 
of twenty- four hours, they would have you under arrest 
as " 

"What! — As a murderer?" 


"As the individual implicated by the circumstances 
of the case." 

"What! — / should be suspected of the murder of 
that man?" 

"That is what would happen if Mr. Toppin , my col- 
league, called them in. That is what will happen, I am 
afraid; for, upon this evidence, unexplained" — the in- 
spector touched the small portfolio — "we shall be bound 
to call upon our French colleagues." 

"But as we drove along just now, the evening news- 
papers were announcing the arrest of the assassin." 


"Well, then — how " Brother Neel was about to 

put an obvious question, but suddenly changed his tone. 
"That could not be" — he recoiled, as he gazed from In- 
spector Byde to Detective Toppin, and from Detective 
Toppin to Inspector Byde. 

" Oh, no," interposed Toppin impetuously — " a mistake, 
that case!" 

"This is hard to bear!" exclaimed Brother Neel, 
striking his forehead with one hand, and clenching the 

"Yes; and we can't waste any more time over it," 
said the inspector peremptorily. "Now, I will go farther 
with you than my duty requires me to go. You arrived 
in Paris yesterday morning by the night-mail from Lon- 
don, due here at 5.50. Not long after your arrival you 
returned to the post-office at the railway-station — come: 
you see we know more than you imagined! Make your 
explanation now, and have done with it. Otherwise " 

"I went back to the station post-office," answered 
Brother Neel readily enough — "because I had an urgent 
telegram to send off, and a letter. The letter was ad- 


dressed to the council of the I.O.T. A., and the telegram 
to the secretary of the I. O. T. A., informing him that the 
letter was on its way, and begging him to call the 
members of the Council together for business of the most 
important nature. This business is the same with regard 
to which you have demanded explanations. The reply 
from the Council may arrive to-morrow morning, or at 
any time I may receive a telegram. My object, however, 
in requesting the delay of twenty-four hours, was that I 
should be enabled to wire to the secretary at once, urging 
him to send me back by the very first post my own 
letter to the Council, with my own envelope bearing the 
stamps, post-mark, etc. He would, of course, do as I 
requested, and I should receive them back by to-morrow 
evening — that is to say, in twenty-four hours' time." 

"What would that prove?" inquired Inspector Byde. 

"Prove? It would prove " The speaker stopped 

short as though he measured his own situation for the 
first time with independent eyes. "Well, it would prove 
my good faith," he went on, with some embarrassment 
—"and yet I suppose that — I suppose that you would 
not admit it to prove anything!" He took a hasty turn 
or two about the room. "So far as that goes there 
would be nothing in the contents of my letter to the 

Council which you could not^learn from me now, if " 

He went abruptly to the mantelpiece, poured out a glass 
of water, and drank it nervously. "I am not my own 
master in this. The I. O. T. A. must not be compromised, 
and I ought not to move until I hear from them. If 
they are compromised by me — if the cause in general suffers 
through my instrumentality — why, my prospects would 
be entirely ruined! In one moment I should forfeit my 
position, I should lose my means of livelihood. My name 


is known on temporance platforms from one end of Eng- 
land to the other; I should be a marked man, and cast 
out. What would become of me? At my age begin life 

again how? How? Would you have me sink into 

crime or into genteel mendicancy? What work could I 
oner to perform — what work could I — I — tamely sit down 
to and drudge at after so many years of " 

"Ah, things are made very pleasant for you 'brethren' 
of the temperance bands," observed Mr. Byde irrelevantly, 
and with a sternness in which his idiosyncrasy asserted 
itself. You lay down the law to other people quite old 
enough to decide for themselves; you take their money 
and spend it on yourselves; and you are answerable to 
nobody but yourselves. I don't wonder that your lazy, 
prating, selfish life unfits you for useful work." 

"I see that I must expect no mercy from you, In- 
spector Byde," was the reply. "I see that I must take 
my risk; I see that if I refuse to speak until I receive 
the sanction I have asked for — asked for, loyally — in the 
very interests of the people I serve, and with no other 
motive — I see that my struggle with the circumstances 
of the moment will be of no avail. You will do your 
duty — you must do your duty. In the absence of ex- 
planation from me, you will have to cause my arrest. 
The harm which I am seeking to stave off will be done 
irremediably. Perhaps I shall serve them best by speak- 
ing at once." He refilled the glass, and moistened his 
lips. "If you could await my letter, you would acknow- 
ledge that I have acted in good faith — in apparent good 
faith I mean, of course: oh, I comprehend your bias! If 
I had any doubts whatever upon the subject, the extra- 
ordinary observations you permitted yourself just now 
would extinguish them. I don't know, by the way, 


whether it forms part of your duty, Mr. Inspector Byde, 
to lecture your prisoners" — the inspector waved his hand 
in deprecation, and, yes, a slight flush mounted to his 
cheeks — "for that is what my position here amounts to! 
— to lecture your prisoners on their choice of a vocation: 
but allow me to say that an attitude of that kind con- 
stitutes a gross abuse of your advantage. You will not 
believe my story, I suppose. But you shall hear it!" 

"As briefly as possible," said the inspector, in a 
gentler tone. 

Brother Neel threw himself into a fauteuil. 

"I was a passenger from London with the man whose 
body lies at the Morgue. I know his name; he told it 
me in conversation. He gave me some idea, ostensibly, 
of his business position, too. Between London and 
Dover " 

"We are acquainted with your movements during 
the first part of your journey; and only one thing con- 
cerns us — how. did this property pass into your pos- 

"You may ask me why I have not come forward to 
identify this man, knowing what I know from his own 
lips? That is one point upon which I preferred to con- 
sult the Council of my society. The deceased and 
myself were fellow-passengers from Calais to Boulogne. 
There were individuals travelling with us whose looks 
neither of us liked, and whose society we both endeavoured 
to avoid. From a curious incident on the journey I half 
suspected that the deceased was a member of your own 
calling, instead of being, as he had related for the benefit 
of us all, a Mr. Remington, residing in the Park Lane 
neighbourhood. He changed compartments, and I must 


say that I followed him, preferring his society, at any 
rate, to that of the two individuals with whom he would 
have left me. The deceased had the appearance of a 
man who had been drinking continuously. Towards the 
latter portion of the journey he became extremely drowsy, 
and could scarcely keep awake. I thought he wanted a 
compartment to himself in order to be able to sleep, and 
when he changed once more I did not move from my 
own compartment, where, indeed, I was alone, and com- 
fortably installed. From your own information you will 
be aware of the fact, I dare say, that very few passengers 
had travelled by the train. I now come to the first 
material fact" 

Inspector Byde had been meditatively sharpening a 
long lead pencil. Out of his capacious pocket he now 
extracted a note-book of ominously official aspect, and, 
opening it, sat ready to jot down what he might con- 
sider of importance in the narrative. 

Toppin heaved a fluttering sigh. 

"We had touched for an instant at Creil, which was 
the last of our stoppages before reaching Paris, and about 
fifteen minutes had elapsed — fifteen or twenty minutes — 
since we had run out of the Creil station. I was leaning 
back in the corner of the compartment, with my face 
to the engine, when, even above the great noise made 
by the train as it rushed along at full speed, I fancied I 
heard a detonation, close to my ear. The travelling cap 
I wore enabled me to rest my head against the wooden 
partition, and I suppose that that acted as a sort of sound- 
ing-board. One report only was what I heard, if indeed 
it were a report a£ all. Had we been travelling in the 
daytime I might have concluded that the sound was 


caused by a pebble thrown at the passing train and 
striking one of the windows, or that as we dashed under 
a bridge a stone or other missile had been dropped on 
to perhaps the metal frame of the carriage-lamp. It was 
barely five, however, on a December morning, and pitch 
dark. The detonation, although not distinct, had seemed 
close to my ear, and as I reflected I felt convinced it 
was a pistol-shot that I had heard. The French guard 
of the train had once or twice startled me, during the 
earlier part of the journey, by suddenly entering the com- 
partment from the footboard for the purpose of examining 
tickets. I don't know what it was — why I should have 
thought of any such thing — but a suspicion of foul play 
forced itself upon my mind. The occurrences of the 
journey had been peculiar — the story told by the deceased 
about the Wilmot diamonds — the night arrest at Dover 
— that young man's calm protestation of innocence — the 
persistency of the two individuals whom we repeatedly 
met, but who never spoke to us — and then the abrupt 
appearance of the French guard while we were hurrying 
through the storm in the dark — all these things in- 
fluenced me, I suppose. I jumped up and went to the 
far window. Letting down the glass and looking out, I 
could just detect the door of, not the next, but the second 
compartment in my rear, swinging open. If the door 
had swung towards me I could not have perceived it. 
But it opened in the contrary direction to my own, and 
what enabled me to see it was the faint gleam from the 
lamp on the inner surface of the door, which was painted 
in a light colour. The lamp had apparently burnt low, 
as in my own compartment. Nothing but this glimmer 
of faint light as the door swayed slightly with the rapid 
motion of the train was distinguishable in the utter 


gloom. In my place, Mr. Inspector Byde, what would 
you have done?" 

"Let us get on, sir," said the inspector, fidgeting 
with the lead pencil. 

Mr. Toppin expanded his chest, and sniffed with 
remarkable significance. 

"Rung the alarm bell, and stopped the train? On 
what ground? What had I to show as justification? A 
sound — which, after all, was I certain I had heard? — and 
an open door? My own alarm was personal to myself, 
arose from the condition of my own mind, might be due 
to mere physical fatigue, at that moment in the twenty- 
four hours when the vitality is lowest. Had I really, as 
a matter of fact, heard the detonation I imagined I had 
heard? Had I not been asleep? The open door? The 
door might have been carelessly closed, and left un- 
fastened. However, I resolved to see!" 

The inspector flattened out his note-book, and pre- 
pared to write. 

"Yes! In the interests of my own safety, I resolved 
to see. For on the other hand, if it were some deed of 
violence, a sinister plot by the very servants of the railway, 
my turn might arrive next: did I know? I opened the far 
door of my own compartment, and stepped on to the foot- 
board. It was an easy proceeding to pass along outside. 
The supports available for the ticket examiner, as he 
swung himself from carriage to carriage throughout the 
entire length of the train, were available to me also in 
the few steps I had to make. The carriages rocked and 
jolted once or twice, and I had to grope my way; but I 

I kept my footing without any difficulty. The whole affair 
occupied a few seconds, I should say. Well, what did I 
find? The compartment immediately behind my own was 


empty. The curtains had been drawn down, and had 
been left drawn, but through the window of the door I 
could see that there was no one in the compartment 
Arrived at the compartment next it, farther along, I found 
the curtain drawn there too — but, peering round the 
edge of the doorway, to my amazement, I saw " 

Brother Neel broke off abruptly. The scene he con- 
jured up appeared to overwhelm him; or was it that the 
delicacy of his own position now struck him with a 
paralysing force? 

"You saw?" demanded the inspector in a passionless 
voice, as the lead pencil came to a standstill. 

"I saw the figures of two men — and blood," con- 
tinued the narrator, his hushed and slower accents be- 
traying, perhaps awe, perhaps horror, perhaps consterna- 
tion. "One of the two men had his face turned away 
from me; and he was stooping across the body of the 
other. He had his back towards the doorway of the 
compartment, and I could see that he was searching in 
the pockets, in the lining even, of the other's garments. 
The other lay motionless along the seat. The light was 
dim, but not too dim for me to fail in recognising the 
features of that other. It was the man whose body has 
been transported to the Morgue — the man who had been 
my own travelling companion up to, it seemed, but a few 
minutes previously — the man with whom I had been 
talking, hour after hour, until weariness overcame us both. 
In spite of the dim light, I could discern the look upon 
his features, as without intercepting my view of them, 
the figure between us bent still lower in the search. On 
his countenance I saw the look which it has ever since 
retained, the look which you may study at the Morgue, 
if studies of the murdered leave but a transitory impress 


on your mind, my good sir — 'Mr. Smithson' — but the 
look which I need no visit to the Morgue to call up; for 
I see it plainly — I can see it now!" Brother Neel flung 
out his arm, and started to his feet. "The eyes were 
open, and they glistened in the dull, yellow light from 
the lamp above. Blood was oozing from a wound in the 

"Blood was oozing from a wound in the temple," re- 
peated the inspector, in the same passionless tone, as he 
wrote down the words. "The right temple — or the left?" 
The question and the glance were like a couple of electric 
rapier thrusts. 

"Why — the left, of course," answered Brother Neel, 
with the natural hesitation of the man who refers to a 
fixed mental image. "The deceased was in a recumbent 
position, on his right side, with his back to the engine. 
My impulse was to enter the carriage and seize the man 
who was leaning over, away from me, almost within arm's 
length. The consequences, however, flashed through my 
mind. It seemed improbable that the man before me 
was without confederates. A confederate might be 
watching at that instant: I myself in one moment 

more might Just then, the man appeared to have 

extracted some object from the breast-pocket of the de- 
ceased. He held the object away from him, in his left 
hand. As he extended his arm, the object came within 
my reach. I snatched it from him. The object I speak 
of was the package in white tissue-paper which you have 
discovered among the documents of the society." 

"What happened then?" 

"The individual in front of me, instead of at once 
turning, made a dash through the carriage to the opposite 
door, through which I imagine he escaped — but on that 


point I know nothing. All that I can tell you is that I 
never saw his face. I don't profess to be a hero. So far 
as bodily encounters axe concerned, I should hear myself 
called a coward with perfect equanimity. My youth and 
early manhood were passed among Quakers, and what the 
world might choose to term poltroonery, I could vindicate 
by the precept or the example of prominent members of 
that faith, one or two even illustrious. I immediately 
swung myself back, and retreated along the footboard to 
my own compartment. The incident had thoroughly 
unnerved me, although it was not at the time, but after- 
wards, that I underwent its full effect. With great diffi- 
culty I retained my footing and my hold on making my 
way back. At first it seemed inevitable that I should be 
pursued. I remained for several minutes on the alert, 
ready to ring the alarm-bell on the slightest appearance 
of danger. But no single incident arose to excite sus- 
picion or misgiving. The night-mail thundered onwards 
through the raw air of the black winter's morning. A 
traveller had been murdered in his sleep, but no one 
knew it — no one but the murderer and myself!" 

Brother Neel's vocal organ once more aroused the in- 
spector's disinterested admiration. The subdued tones 
thrilled you quite deliciously. It was hard upon the 
temperance lecturer that though he no doubt spoke the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as often 
.as most other people, his native oratorical gifts gave you 
constantly the impression that he was addicted to the 
opposite practice, reinforcing the less likely of his fictions 
by the rhetorician's graces, the elocutionist's art. 

"Had you no means whatever of identifying the as- 



"You could not say whether he wore a guard's uniform 
or not?" 

"It was impossible to distinguish anything of the 

"Could you say whether he wore a cap or hat?" 

"Yes; I can positively state that he was bare-headed. 
That I noticed as he rose from his stooping posture, 
when I snatched the small package from his hand. What 
light there was fell directly on his head." 

"Then you can tell us something about this ghostly 
gentleman after all: whether he wore his hair in long 
ringlets, or in curl papers, whether cropped short, or in 
a chignon, or whether he was bald?" 

"He had short, dark hair, like a few millions of other 
men — that is all I can say," coldly responded Brother 

"When did you examine the contents of the packet?" 

"Not until I reached my hotel, Rue de Compi&gne." 

"And what did you find?" 

"What you have just found." 

"Never mind about me, if you please. My question 
is, what did you find? and be particularly careful about 
your answer, because it may be necessary for evidence." 

"I found that the case contained loose diamonds of 
considerable size. I did not count them; but there were, 
comparatively speaking, a large number of them. I re- 
placed them " 

"All?" Rapid thrusts in carte and in tierce. 

"All?" echoed Brother Neel; "yes— all!" 

The iteration and the manner were equivalent to a 
"TouM!" The inspector's lead pencil laboured across 
the page. "I replaced all the diamonds in the case, but 
did not count them," he repeated aloud, reading from 


his notes; and he added a private memorandum in the 
margin — "Has probably kept some back." 

"You made no declaration, I believe, to the authorities 
here. May I ask whether you have spoken of this to 
any person whatever until now?" 

"To no person whatever. But what I did, without a 
moment's loss of time, was to telegraph, as I have said, 
to the secretary of our great society, advising him of the 
communication which would follow by post That com- 
munication I duly forwarded, as you are aware. It simply 
related the occurrences I have just described, and re- 
quested a suggestion or instruction from the Council. 
Until the Council directed me as to my course of action, 
I pledged myself to divulge to no one the part I had 
involuntarily played in this mysterious crime. You can 
understand plainly that for the I.O.T.A. to be mixed up, 
through one of its accredited agents, in an affair of this 
kind, just at the moment when its roots were striking 
deeper into foreign soil, became a matter of the greatest 
gravity. Misapprehension so easily arises; motives can 
be so easily misconstrued abroad. What may prove the 
answer of the Council I know not. If they had ordered 
me to preserve an absolute silence — resolving to transmit 
those valuables anonymously to the police — I should have 
obeyed them. Such may still prove their answer, for all 
I can affirm. But we have not reckoned with Scotland 
Yard. Ah, what a terrible disaster! these two affairs 
happening simultaneously — the stupid calumnies of that 
sensational paper, and then this! What a catastrophe, 
great heavens!" Brother Neel wrung his hands. He 
had introduced an effective quaver into his notes on the 
lower register. 

"It's a pity you neglected to count the stones," ob- 


served the inspector, collecting himself for a decisive 
lunge — "and it's a pity you restored them all — all, every 
one of them — to the case; a great pity, really, sir!" 

The other kept an unmoved countenance, as he 

"Because," resumed Mr. Byde, brusquely fixing him 
with a look, — "these diamonds are false!" 

There was a dead silence. 

"Floored," wrote the inspector as a purely private 
memorandum; "has kept some of them back." 

" 'Cri nom!" muttered Toppin. 

The temperance lecturer began an undefined melody 
in a toneless whistle and sank back into his arm-chair. 

"Just come and look at these articles, Mr. Toppin, 
will you?" said the inspector. 

Mr. Toppin advanced with alacrity to the table, and 
took up a few of the scintillating crystals pushed towards 
him by his superior officer. 

"Well, it's not a good light for the purpose," he re- 
marked, after an examination by the flame of the candle, 
"but you're right, inspector, they're not the real thing." 

"The real thing!" was the emphatic reply; "they're 

"The best I ever saw, though," said Toppin. 

"Yes," concurred the inspector; "good, and no mis- 
take, but paste. It must be a new process." 

"Well, then, gentlemen," exclaimed Brother Neel, 
springing briskly to his feet — "how do we stand?" 

"Why, there's a prima facie case against you, sir," 
returned Mr. Byde. "And what makes it worse is that 
you demanded twenty-four hours' grace. These are imita- 
tion stones, are they not? Well, an ignorant policeman 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 20 


might conjecture that the genuine ones were in the hands 
of a confederate. The confederate could skip across the 
frontier on a twenty-four hours' notice, or, if already in 
Amsterdam, could throw the diamonds into the market 
at a slight loss of value but no loss of time. Oh, dear 
me! — what a pity you did not keep one or two of them 
back — just one or two — as specimens!" 

"I regret the omission," said Brother Neel, reddening. 
"You are not going to accuse me, I presume, of being 
engaged in a dishonest transaction, such as that, with a 
confederate? The mere suggestion is disgraceful. Whether 
they are spurious or genuine, the stones you have there 
are the stones I found in the case that lies before you. 
The parcel has been out of my own custody, that is true. 
But the seals were intact when it came into my hands 
again, and I do not see how it could have been tampered 
with, or why — even admitting a possibility of such con- 
duct on the part of my colleague, Mr. Bamber, which I 
do not admit." 

"Of course you can see what those facts involve — 
with regard to the perpetration of the crime you have 

"That a murder was committed to obtain possession 
of paste diamonds? Yes, that must be the inference, I 
suppose. The murderer knew of some such objects as 
these being in the possession of the deceased, I suppose, 
and erroneously believed them to be genuine diamonds." 

"Ah, but we are advised that the deceased was most 
probably in unlawful possession, likewise. Had he, also, 
been deceived? The merchandise is good, I don't deny 
it, but not so good as all that — come! And the fact is 
undeniable that the Wilmot diamonds, represented by 


these things, are missing — under circumstances that con- 
nect the deceased with their abstraction." 

"Well, those are matters for yourselves, gentlemen. 
They don't concern me. I can't engage in the detection 
of crime, with you. The articles before you are com- 
promising articles; that I understood from the outset. 
You have asked me how they came into my possession, 
and why I wanted to defer my explanation; I have told 
you. Now, Mr. Byde, sir — pray what does your duty 
require you to do?" 

"Just see if you can recollect whether, between your 
acquisition of this package and the moment at which 
you lodged it with your colleague, it did not pass out 
of your control? My duty doesn't require me to put 
this to you; and you needn't answer unless you like." 

His recollection was clear enough on the subject, said 
Brother Neel. So long as the property remained in his 
personal keeping he was in danger; that he had very 
speedily realized. And until he should receive the in- 
structions of the council of the I.O.T.A. he stood ab- 
solutely at his own devices. He had therefore with great 
care examined the chances of his own situation. It had 
seemed to him that if he carried about with him such 
valuable property as this property had appeared to be, 
he would be exposing himself needlessly to risks of an 
extraneous character. A street accident— anything— 
might unexpectedly bring to light the nature of the 
package; whilst if he had been identified as a passenger 
by the night-mail, and if he had been temporarily detained 
and searched, the discovery of the supposed diamonds 
would have inculpated him tremendously. He had con- 
cluded that it would be safer, of the two courses, to 

leave the package in his portmanteau, locked, at the 



hotel. This he had done, arguing — to be quite frank 
with Inspector Byde — that the presence of the property 
in his luggage did not necessarily inculpate him. It 
might have. been placed there, somehow, by someone 
else, who — having kept back a portion of the sup- 
posititious valuables — sought to definitively exclude him- 
self from the scope of possible suspicion by directly im- 
plicating some third person. Why should not the guards 
of the train, or one of them, have done this? His luggage 
had been registered through, and from London to Paris 
he had not once set eyes on it. Not a bad story, that! 
concluded Brother Neel cynically. 

"Not at all," approved Inspector Byde. 

It had afterwards occurred to him that a more secure 
depository would be desirable than a locked portmanteau 
in a room at an hotel. He did not know that the lock 
of his own portmanteau was a particularly difficult one; 
and the servants of the hotel 

"The servants?" burst forth Toppin, his countenance 
illumining — "the servants? — that's it!" In two strides 
he was at the inspector's elbow. "That Anarchist fellow," 
he whispered, almost inaudibly to the inspector himself, 
although he bent down close to the latter^ ear and walled 
in his words with his hand. "That Anarchist!" 

"Well?" growled Mr. Byde, in real anger at his col- 
league's exclamation. 

"Picked the lock and stole the genuine. Put the paste 
in, pour donner le change" 

"Pooh! Nonsense!" returned the inspector loudly. 
"Nonsense!" he repeated, as if endeavouring to undo the 
effect of Mr. Toppin's outburst. "A great pity you replaced 
the property intact, sir," he continued in a bluff and jovial 
manner; "a great pity you did not put by one or two, 


say, just as specimens! Did you ever find your port- 
manteau unlocked, on returning to your room?" 

"Yes — once. It was just before I made up that parcel 
in order to leave it at the offices of the I.O.T.A., Boulevard 
Haussmann, in a place of safety." Brother Neel related 
the circumstance with which the reader is acquainted. 
He had simply gone down to breakfast at the table d'hote, 
after having, as he thought, secured his portmanteau as 
usual. When he got back into the room he discovered 
that he must have failed to turn the key in the lock, 
after all; because the portmanteau was unfastened. He 
had had a momentary misgiving, but the package was all 
right, and so were its contents. It was then that he 
hastened to convey it to a place of greater safety. With 
regard to the observation by the inspector's colleague, 
just now, of course the hotel servants had access to his 
apartment. The servant who answered his bell, as a rule, 
was the man they had both seen that evening. The man 
who did not speak English — the Anarchist. 

"One word more, if you please. Was it part of your 
system, Mr. Neel, to deny, categorically, at the Morgue, 
that you preserved the slightest recollection of the 

"Just so. A lie, was it not? But it appears to have 
been a part of your own system to present yourself as a 
Mr. Smithson, strongly interested in the welfare of the 
I.O.T.A.: a lie, also, was it not?" 

"Well, yes," responded the Inspector, making his pre- 
parations to depart, "and my conscience is black with 
lies of that description, I'm afraid. "Tis my vocation, 
Hal/ as Byron says. I hope that in the business which 
you follow, sir, you are under no similar obligation of 
lying frequently, and with a plausible face." 


They were all ready to accompany the Inspector 
whither he listed. Mr. Byde regretted that the hour for 
the second table d'hote was past. Possibly they might 
secure some dinner all the same, at the Hotel des Nations; 
for that was the spot to which they must now repair. 
For the present he and Mr. Toppin would be under the 
necessity of imposing their society upon Brother Neel. 

"There will be no scandal, I trust," urged the temper- 
ance lecturer. "You Scotland Yard men " 

"At Scotland Yard, sir, we are men of business — and 
gentlemen. It is not we who make scandals." 

"Because, you know, I warn you! The I.O.T.A. will 
suffer in my person; and we have powerful influences — 
people you would not dream of, perhaps — with us in the 
LO.T.A. Our Grand Worthy Master " 

"Oh, say no more about that body, I beg!" The in- 
spector led the way to the door. "The I.O.T.A., sir, and 
its Grand Worthy Masters!" he retorted, stopping with his 
fingers on the handle; "I don't recognise their existence, 
sir, I don't know them. Brother Neel may be concerned 
in this case, and that's all I can report about. As for 
I.O.T.A.'s, they've no more to do with this affair than — 
than" — the inspector hesitated, at a loss for his parallel 
— "then the pons asinorum, sir! Unless, indeed, this 
particular I.O.T.A. should turn out to be organized receivers 
of stolen property: in which case we shall require to have 
before us a very great deal with respect to the extent of 
their powerful influences!" 

"'CrS noml" ejaculated Toppin. 



Mr. Byde was met, as he descended with his com- 
panions into the vestibule of the Terminus Hotel, by the 
travelled waiter who had moved in the patrician spheres 
of Battersea. 

"A lettaire," said that accomplished linguist, "alettaire 
for Mistaire Bydee which have been leave." The super- 
scription on the note he handed to the inspector was in 
a feminine handwriting. 

"Why," exclaimed Toppin jocularly, "this is our 
friend who can't stand the police! — never could stand 
them — no one in the family has ever been able to en- 
dure them. Hates the police, and everything connected 
with them! ,, 

"Ah, vous savez/' answered the student of the English 
social system, as he beamed and raised his eyebrows, and 
brought one shoulder up under his ear, in a shrug of 
gratified protest — " vous savez — there are those little weak- 
nesses that run in the blood! It's that, or it's this: like 
a predisposition to a malady — Hens? Some people will 
inherit the germs of scrofula; others abhor blackbeetles 
and rats. Mot — I — it's policemen: je ne peux pas les 
voir en peinture! That is how I am — c' est plus fort que 

"A nice old cup of tea you are!" Mr. Toppin spoke 
with the disgusting familiarity in which at times he would 
permit himself to indulge, and he pinched the waiter's 
frail forearm between his finger and thumb. "How are 
they getting along at the Prefecture?" 

" I beck parton ? " Relapsing into the English language, 


the speaker threw an alarmed look behind him; but there 
was no one to overhear. "The lady have wait in her 
carriage reply, 9 * he hastened to inform Inspector Byde. 

"Come here," proceeded Mr. Toppin, with insular 
brutality, "whom do you think you've been getting at? 
The next time you go down to the Prefecture, you tell 
Monsieur Hy that you've made my acquaintance — that is 
to say, the acquaintance of Mr. Detective Thomas Toppin, 
of the English Surete* — Yes! And don't you talk so much 
about the police. Your overdoing it, young fellur!" 

Mr. Toppin was superb, just now. If anything, he 
was the junior of the two; but he had the assurance which 
accompanies mediocrity. When he said a thing, he not 
only looked as if he meant it, every word of it, but as if he 
meant a good deal more than, out of consideration for 
his hearer, he would wish to put into words. He did not, 
as a rule, however, mean very much more than he actually 
expressed, to do him justice. He was a remarkly fine 
young man, with — by nature — a portentous cast of counten- 
ance; and he always imposed upon other mediocrities, and 
sometimes upon quite superior persons. 

The recipient of the missive hurried through the vesti- 
bule, and crossed the pavement outside. A private car- 
riage stood waiting nearly opposite the hotel entrance. 

"I'm so sorry to trouble you, Mr. Byde," said Mrs. 
Bertram, as she approached the window — "but you must 
lay the blame on this wilful young lady here. She would 
insist upon our calling to see if you had any news, and 
we have come expressly. There! — now justify yourself, 

"Oh, have you any news, Mr. Byde?" exclaimed Miss 
Knollys, her profile suddenly emerging from the deep 
shadow. "You haven't any bad news, have you?" In the 


young lady's accent the inspector distinguished that he 
was implored not to have bad news to communicate. "I 
feel sure there ought to be no bad news — but the suspense 
is terrible." The full rays of the carriage lamps fell on 
the inspector's face, as he listened, but the obscurity of 
the interior shrouded both occupants from his own view. 
The figure of Miss Knollys appeared the vaguest of out- 
lines to him. When she had impulsively bent forward, 
the bright eyes which he had seen filled with tears 
glistened clearly through the gloom; and, now, as a little 
half-nervous, half-apologetic laugh ended her appeal, the 
dark shadow seemed to be touched by one transient ray 
from a star. 

Yes, he would certainly do whatever he could — what- 
ever he could — for a charming young lady like this, 

thought Mr. Byde: a charming young lady, so Eh? 

Why, what on earth ! Two or three of favourite 

couplets rose up simultaneously to rebuke him. And 
indeed a pretty frame of mind for the systematic op- 
ponent of impressionism! What if young people were 
blessed with good looks — where was the sense — 

"Where's the sense, direct and moral, 
That teeth are pearl, or lips are coral?" 

What had he to do with the charms of young ladies 
personally interested in the results of his investigations 
— with their charms and with their woes? Very unfor- 
tunate for this Mr. Sinclair, if he found he could not 
prove that 

"Ah — you have bad news — that was what I feared — 
and I was right to come! Something has happened! I 
knew — I knew — that something must have happened. 
Tell me what it is: I have a right to know! — or let us 


telegraph, dear Mrs. Bertram — let us telegraph to Austin 
that we know he has been concealing something from us, 
and that we want to hear the worst!" 

"Ladies, I assure you " began the inspector. 

"My dear, I see no reason why you should imagine 
that Mr. Sinclair has kept back the worst from you. On 
the contrary, his letter was exceedingly frank — not only 
frank, but sensible and businesslike. He told you plainly 
the position which the arrest placed him in, as far as he 
could ascertain it, at the moment; and to-day he tele- 
graphs, repeating that he can soon dispose of the entire 
ridiculous charge." 

"Yes, but I know he has done that out of thought- 
fulness!" persisted Miss Adela Knollys. 

Well, it was abominable, reflected the inspector, if 
this young gentleman, Mr. Sinclair, were being detained 
in custody without sufficient cause. To stop a man on suspi- 
cion when he was leaving the country might be one thing, 
but to keep him like that when they had had plenty of 
time to examine the circumstances against him was quite 
another, especially looking to the exhaustive character 
of his (Byde's) own reports, and the hints he had therein 
furnished. Another case of "appearances," he supposed. 
"Appearances!" He detested the term. They could be 
so easily invented, fabricated, or maliciously combined 
— appearances! Yes, he would certainly do whatever he 
could to wind this case up sharp, and to help that young 
gentleman in bringing forward his proofs. It was no 
fault of his (Byde's) that the young lady before him was 

"Mr. Byde " implored the young lady. 

He would help him. And if the arrest had been an 
error — another good blow at the impressionists! 


"You will be candid with me, won't you, Mr. Byde?" 
Thus beset, the inspector unscrupulously took refuge 
in the fluent phrases of the hopeful friend. So far as 
positive information went, he really did not know that 
for the moment he had anything to impart which could 
in the slightest degree affect Mr. Austin Sinclair preju- 
dicially; he might go further, and say that certain re- 
searches upon which he, together with an extremely able 
colleague — Detective Toppin, stationed permanently in 
Paris by Scotland Yard — was at this very minute actively 
engaged, might not impossibly procure the unconditional 
release of Mr. Sinclair before the expiration of another 
fortnight — or, perhaps, ten days — perhaps less. A long 
time? Yes, it did seem long, no doubt; but we must not 
be impatient. We must be patient. Things were seldom 
done well which were done over-quickly. And then at 
any instant fresh intelligence might reach him from 
London. For all he knew Mr. Sinclair was triumphantly 
establishing his utter ignorance of the Park Lane diamond 
robbery while they — he, Mr. Byde, and the two ladies 
with whom he cordially sympathised — were now con- 
versing on that very spot. Of course the connection of 
Mr. Sinclair with the diamond robbery was absurd, pre- 
posterous, a totally untenable hypothesis — of course! How 
could it be? Why, it could not possibly be! Mr. Sinclair 
would soon be discharged, for want of evidence. The 
only conceivable witness against him was the man who 
had since been murdered: he asked pardon for putting 
the case in a rather hard, practical manner, but that was 
the way in which it would be put by the authorities over 
there, and it was best to look at the least favourable 
aspect of matters like this now, wasn't it? Why, yes. 
Therefore, we must be patient. We must repose our 


faith in justice, and trust to the right arm of the law. 
As for Mr. Stanislas Wilmot, who laid false informations 
with malice aforethought, and to compass private objects 
deliberately sent the Department astray, that gentleman 
might be called on for an explanation of his conduct, 
and for redress; and it might be worth while instituting 
some inquiries as to the history of the Hatton Garden 
firm, the nature of its transactions, and a good deal more. 
Diamond "faking" had been managed pretty extensively 
for some time past. The Department had not yet hit 
upon the precise source of the larger "faked" diamonds 
that had been passed off on buyers; but they were on 
the look-out for diamond merchants with laboratories 
attached to their domiciles or business premises. These 
yellow Cape stones, treated with chemicals so as to ap- 
pear brilliants of the purest water, had been turning up 
too often lately; and Mr. Stanislas Wilmot might find 
occasion one of these days to regret that he had drawn 
upon himself the notice of Scotland Yard. 

Miss Knollys apparently deemed it not incompatible 
with consistency to inveigh anew against her guardian, 
and, in the same breath, to plead for him very earnestly 
with Inspector George Byde. Her interposition to the 
latter effect completed the surrender of Detective Toppin's 
colleague. He could only respond with a few more 
soothing aphorisms and sanguine pledges. 

Mrs. Bertram said that they had purposely deferred 
their dinner-hour that evening in order to be able to 
make their call at the inspector's address. Would Mr. 
Byde do her the pleasure of returning to dine at the 
Avenue Marceau? The inspector hastily excused him- 
self, at once explaining the urgency of the situation. It 
might be that he had already lingered too long; but the 


anxiety of persons intimately concerned in the welfare of 
Mr. Austin Sinclair was of course quite explicable, and 
it gratified him beyond measure to have gained the con- 
fidence of ladies who — of ladies that — of ladies whom — 
ladies, in short, whom it was a real pleasure to serve. 

"Oh yes, we have the greatest confidence in you — 
the very greatest!" came from the shadowy form in the 
Cimmerian corner. Did he understand that Mr. Sinclair 
had telegraphed during the afternoon — in good spirits? 
In excellent spirits, replied the elder lady; it would be 
"all right," he believed, in a day or two: and that signi- 
fied a great deal, from what she knew of Mr. Sinclair. 
He was not at all inclined to take either optimist or pessi- 
mist views of events; he looked at a matter steadily, 
weighed everything on both sides, and then gave you 
just what he thought about it; although it might be that 
in a case like this — yes, she would not say it was im- 
possible — he might have departed from his custom, out 
of consideration for them both. It might be that he had 
assumed this cheerfulness in order to spare them the in- 
creased alarm which an exact statement of his position 
might excite in them. 

"We'll prove an alibi for him," cried the inspector 

Could the speaker be George Byde, of the V Division! 
Such frivolity as this in an allusion to a grave affair — 
such an astounding indifference to principle! A sad, a 
melancholy outlook, if scientific methods were to be em- 
ployed to serve impressionism! 

"Whatever happens," urged Mrs. Bertram, as the in- 
spector turned to see if Mr. Toppin and Brother Neel 
were still waiting at the hotel entrance, "you would not 
leave Paris without paying us a visit, I trust?" 

. ■> 


Mr. Byde promised to do his utmost, whatever hap- 
pened, to make a visit, though perhaps a brief one, at 
the Avenue Marceau. But much would depend upon the 
occurrences of the next twelve hours. He had unex- 
pected indications with respect to the present whereabouts 
of the missing property itself, and he could not pronounce 
whether, at this time on the following day, he should be 
on French soil at all. 

"Oh, really!" exclaimed both ladies in breathless 

Might be across the frontier to-morrow: might be on 
the other side of the Channel again. Mr. Byde began 
to fidget; he had stayed too long. 

"Might have to leave at once for Amsterdam ," he 
added, as he bade his visitors adieu — "or by first train 
for London." 

"Oh, how clever you must be!" said Mrs. Bertram. 

"Thank you so much," issued in a tremulous tone 
from the corner beyond. 

The profile suddenly re-emerged from the deep shadow, 
and a gloved hand advanced towards the inspector. He 
took the slender hand mechanically in his own broad 
palm, and pressed the yielding fingers, whose warmth 
faintly penetrated through their glove, just as he used to 
press the wasted fingers of his own little daughter, May 
— when every morning the poor child begged him to 
come back soon and read some more of the story to her 
at her bedside: the bedside to which he had one day 
returned to burst into a flood of tears. 

The carriage rolled away, and the inspector, struck 
down by a reminiscence, stood motionless at the edge of 
the pavement, staring vacantly before him. As there was 
no object that could be discerned in the obscurity by 


Oetective Toppin, whose eyes were younger than those 
of his superior officer, that zealous representative of the 
English police concluded that his colleague was a gay 
old dog, and half made his mind up to be facetious 
with him. 

"Aha, inspector! — would you — would you!" he had a 
good mind to say to him — "That's how you carry on 
when you come over to Paris, inspector, is it? Fll tell 
Scotland Yard about you! And a married man, too! 
Aha — aha! Go along with you, you monster! Has ladies 
drive up in their carriages to see him at his hotel, and 
gets that fetched by them that he's struck all of a heap, 
he is!" 

Mr. Toppin more than half resolved to step up to the 
inspector and accost him in this friendly strain. Perhaps, 
on the whole, he had better not, he reflected; the inspector 
mightn't like it, all things considered. No, it would be 
better to take no notice of the circumstance; he'd pre- 
tend he hadn't been looking that way at all. 

It was with an air of strictly professional deference 
that Mr. Thomas Toppin greeted his colleague, when the 
latter, shaking off that cruel arrow from the quiver of the 
past, turned to resume the work of Inspector Byde. Brother 
Neel had been fretting impatiently; which Mr. Toppin re- 
garded as but natural, being himself quite ready for his 

In silence they proceeded to the Rue de Compiegne, 
Hdtel des Nations. As they halted at this establishment, 
Detective Toppin reminded his superior officer that he 
might count upon his, Toppin's, assistance in the task of 
cross-examining the Anarchist "As safe as houses, it's 
the Anarchist," repeated Mr. Toppin. 


"Just tell me the number of your apartment here," 
said Mr. Byde to their companion. 

"My apartment is No. 21," answered Brother Neel, 
somewhat loftily. 

"We should like to glance over your register for the 
past week," observed the inspector to the lady-president 
of the bureau. "We have been expecting friends, and 
very likely they have stopped here, on passing through." 

The book was duly placed before them by the fascinat- 
ing widowed Parisian spinster, whose nods and becks and 
wreathed smiles diminished with abruptness at the spec- 
tacle of Mr. Topping obduracy. The inspector ran his 
finger down the names inscribed along the pages since 
the arrival of Brother Neel. 

"There's a handwriting that looks as if it were dis- 
guised," he remarked to his subordinate, indicating one 
of the more recent entries. 

"So it does," concurred his subordinate. 

Brother Neel, who chafed quite noticeably under the 
restraint imposed upon him, was for adjourning to his 
apartment "to procure some I.O.T.A. documents," while 
the two gentlemen from Scotland Yard were searching 
the hotel register. He muttered that he would rejoin 
them in a moment, with the documents in question, and 
in his impatience had begun to ascend the staircase be- 
fore the inspector could arrest his progress. 

Mr. Byde called him back in a peremptory manner, 
and, speaking with greater sternness than he had hitherto 
employed, told the temperance lecturer in an undertone 
that if he did not wish to force them into disagreeable 
measures he would do well to consider himself no longer 
free to act as he might choose. Although not formally 
in custody, for the time being he was morally their prisoner. 


Circumstances might bring to a speedy termination the 
existing unpleasant state of affairs; but in the meantime 
Brother Neel must not delude himself. Until he might 
"be requested by the inspector, or by the colleague acting 
with him, to procure from his apartment any documents 
relating to the I.O.T.A., he would be good enough to 
forget the I.O.T.A., so far as the case at present occupy- 
ing their close attention was concerned. It might or 
might not become necessary to search Brother NeePs 
apartment, No. 21. He would doubtless aid them use- 
fully in searching it. He could not be permitted, how- 
ever, to make a visit to the apartment in advance. 

"But if you suspect that man — that Anarchist man," 
objected Brother Neel, with a slight trace of uneasiness, 
"you don't suppose that he. has chosen my room for the 
concealment of anything?" 

"Oh, come, sir — pray don't argue our inquiry for us. 
Do as I beg of you, please!" 

Brother Neel slowly retraced his steps. 

The handwriting to which the inspector had referred, 
undoubtedly, as Toppin now commented, bore the ap- 
pearance of having been laboriously disguised. The cha- 
racters all leant backwards. In the particulars which set 
forth that the subject of the entry — a young gentleman 
of a by no means unfamiliar patronymic — was of English 
nationality, and was travelling northwards, from the Medi- 
terranean, without a passport, there were 'Vs," "s's," and 
"t's," in considerable abundance. From whatever cause 
— through inadvertence or haste; hardly by design — the 
"rV and "t's" had been formed in two different man- 
ners, whilst the "s's" looked suspiciously elaborate, and 
the capital letters, also, seemed either crude or florid to 

Passenger from Scotland Yard, 2 1 


"Whenever you like, about that Anarchist," said 
Mr. Toppin. "I know enough to make out that it's on 
the business of his lodge we want to see him." 

Mr. Byde politely addressed himself to the ex-"Pa- 
risienne." She had ensconced herself within the stifling 
boundaries of her bureau, and was doing her best to show 
her contempt for three booby foreigners who could not 
summon up responsive glances for a still handsome wo- 
man — was she not still handsome? Parbleu! Handsome 
enough for stupid English, whose wives and daughters 
had projecting upper teeth, large feet, and not an inch of 
padding inside their clothes where padding ought to be! 
She bit her lips as Mr. Byde respectfully pushed open the 
door of the asphyxiating bureau; bit them well to make 
them once more ripely red — irresistible perdition, as her 
last admirer, the Baron X., who absconded with her sav- 
ings used to madly say — and she smiled upon the timor- 
ous intruder with the winning grace, the encouraging tender- 
ness, that resides in wrinkles along a sheet of parch- 

Mr. Byde rather fancied, he began with a flattering 
show of embarrassment, that this entry — or the other, 
just below it — might refer to one of the friends whom 
they were anxious to encounter during their passage through 
Paris. The name in one case, at least, appeared to in- 
dicate the fact — that name, there, in the curious hand- 
writing, all backward; it was no uncommon name, to be 
sure, but at the same time, if the gentleman was — how 
was he, now, in point of age? 

Oh, that? That was No. 19, believed the lady-presi- 
dent, affably scanning the virile features of Inspector Byde. 
In one second, one little second only, she could make 
sure of the fact by a reference tp her own book. 


Number 19? And Brother NeePs apartment was the 
adjoining chamber, No. 21! 

Yes, it was as she had supposed, continued the 
quondam idol of the Baron X. The person in question 
occupied the No. 19. An invalid. Young. Had arrived 
in Paris by an early morning train, and was too feeble in 
health to quit his room. Tres comme il faut; had behaved 
most generously in the matter of gratuities — at least the 
elderly gentleman, his friend, had behaved, on his behalf, 
very generously: because the elderly gentleman was re- 
lieving the shattered young invalid of all the trouble in- 
cident upon travelling, and had given in the first place 
all the necessary orders for him. Did monsieur think it 
might be his own acquaintance, this young gentleman 
who was ill? 

Inspector Byde really shrank from again disturbing 
mademoiselle, but 

Comment done, cher monsieur! — mats, comment done! 
Was she not there to answer the queries of visitors like 
monsieur? How she regretted that monsieur had not ad- 
dressed himself earlier to the bureau for information! If 
she could have known, when monsieur called before, that 
he was seeking for some friends who had most likely 
stopped at the hotel — what an unfortunate oversight! It 
would have been so easy just to cast her eye through the 
register, and to save monsieur from unnecessary displace- 
ments — seeing that he had doubtless been engaged in in- 
quiries for his acquaintance with the ordinary name; which 
would of course involve journeys and calls, though not 
outside the limits of the neighbourhood, if the acquaint- 
ance of monsieur were known to have determined to 

descend at some hptel in the vicinity of the Northern 



Terminus — it would have been so simple to have directed 
monsieur to this very No. 19, which was, tenez, just the 
next room to the large chamber tenanted by Monsieur 
Nill la! 

The inspector resumed, in his very best composite 
French, that he was desole — no, but, de'soU positively — to 
intrude and thus monopolise the valuable time which 

"Ah, monsieur — too happy — 

"Which, mademoiselle, dont la gracieusete- 

"Oh, monsieur!" 

And empressement and kindly e'gards, joined to — might 
he say it — ahem! — charms of manner and 

h— h— h! 

A most superior man — oh, truly, a man of quite 
superior qualities! He could not be an English, like the 
clod who stood in the vestibule out there, his companion. 
Now she looked at him, this one was certainly the better 
of the two; and how could she have passed him over? 
About the middle-age, this one, she should imagine: 
widower, from the softness of the sidelong glance: rich? 

Why, there were even visitors at this actual moment 
in the No. 1 9, she responded to the question with which 
the inspector at length wound up — yes, visitors who had 
come to dinner with the young gentleman who was ill. 
There were — let us see how many — two, yes, two visitors 
to the occupant of No. 19; and they had been here some 
little time, seeing that covers for the three had been 
ordered for service in the apartment itself upstairs, at 
the time they were preparing to serve their table d'hote 
downstairs, at 6.30. Would monsieur wish to send up a 
message to the No. 19, or possibly to go and see them? 
It would be so easy just to go and see: and even though 


they should not prove to be the acquaintances of mon- 
sieur — when you were compatriots, n'est-ce pas? Per- 
haps, however, monsieur was not himself an English? 

Mr. Byde answered rather absently that Britain was 
in fact his nation. Before his mental vision had loomed 
indistinctly the letters " Q. E. F." A choice of courses lay 
before him: which should he decide upon? "Q. E. R!" 
What magic in those characters! He tasted his triumphs 
in advance; in advance, he tasted his repose; he saw 
himself already back in Camberwell; already blissful, on 
a well-earned leave of absence; already lolling in his own 
arm-chair, with a long clay pipe in his left hand — oh, 
for a whiff at a sweet long clay! and oh, for a draught 
of that brown old ale — whilst within prehensory distance 
of his right would lie the battered and discarded school- 
books of his boy. Mild was the effulgence of the in- 
spector's eye. Picturing again those evening classes at 
the Institute (corner of the Terrace), dreamily he smiled. 

The ex-beauty — alas! she had never abdicated, she 
had been deposed, and it was long ago — resolved that 
for that smile, and for that look, the wealthy widower 
might be pardoned his nationality. He would undoubtedly 
"ask her," if he got into the way of coming to the hotel. 
She should say — yes. Well, why not? Had she not once 
had her apartment in the Avenue de Villiers; had she 
not once been the typical Parisienne (whose parents lived 
in the country), and had not one of the boulevard journals 
once rapturously described one of her midsummer toilettes, 
the description having been loyally paid for, notwithstand- 
ing the exorbitant tariff? 

Which of the two courses ought he to follow? mused 
Mr. Byde, turning towards the glass partition, through 


which he could contemplate the physiognomy of Brother 

Either a bachelor, or a widower, or divorced from 
his wife, that was unmistakable, argued the dowager 
Parisienne, ex-queen of so many emigrated subjects — 
some of whom had been quite respectable members of 
the aristocracy. Rich, also, he must no doubt be. All 
these insulaires were rich; and the richest were those 
who pretended to be poor. If he hadn't been unattached, 
he wouldn't have looked at her like that; because it was 
an earnest, serious look — from the heart, she thought: 
bah, why not? — the sort of look she had often slighted 
in the past; a very different sort of article from that other 
look she had likewise frequently encountered in the past, 
without frequently slighting it, the furtive, but, oh! quite 
comprehensible scintillation from the insurrectionary helot 
of the marriage vow. She should say — yes! Then she 
would find out the whereabouts of the Baron X. He had 
always adored her; and for his conduct there was every 
excuse — he had never been accustomed to be short of 
money. And if he had absconded with her savings, 
which had rolled up to a goodly sum — an unclean heap, 
like a huge miry snowball — had she not begun it? Had 
she not in the first place relieved him of the financial 
remnant left him by her predecessors — angels who by no 
happy lot could ever be entertained unawares, their enter- 
tainment involving riot and disorder, and their pampered 
appetites rejecting banquets of unleavened bread. She 
had plunged him into irredeemable debt, and after a 
time he had grown tired of living upon her mere bounty: 
or — no, it would be impossible that he should have eloped 
with someone else! Wasn't there every excuse for him? 
And he was a real, real baron — no rastaquouere ! When 


slie had said "Yes," she would find him out; and how 
tliey would enjoy themselves with the money of this 
English — who, after all, did not seem to have more than 
six — mettons sixteen — words to say for himself! Stupid, 
after all, everyone of them, thqse insulars! All the better! 
She would have no difficulties to vanquish — and if he 
came back to the hotel for a few days! And even sup- 
posing he should be married already in his own land? 
Was a Parisienne to be withstood? A little divorce case, 
■with the wife as the petitioner, would end quite nicely 
for herself and for the Baron X. She bit her lower lip 
savagely, and smiled to show its redness off against her 
even teeth; forgetting that the path of time is everywhere. 
What on earth could she be smiling at — this good 
lady? wondered the inspector. 

He had decided upon his plan of action. Benjamin 
should be extricated from his compromising situation, if 
it could be done decently. The old boy might or might 
not have been mixed up actively in this affair; but he 
would try and bring him off, unless the old boy had 
gone too far. The inspector fancied there was not much 
room for doubt as to the identity of the three persons 
now carousing in the apartment No. 19. Ah, he should 
soon affix "Q. E. F." to the foot of the problem! 

And it was in his most business-like manner — with 
an air which immediately took a story from the super- 
structure of the castle run up hastily in Spain — that the 
inspector ventured to request mademoiselle dont ramabilite, 
etc., to send up to the No. 19 with a message. If one 
of the two visitors were a M. de Bingham, by hazard, 
there was a gentleman downstairs who desired to see him 
on insurance business, a gentleman from the Boulevard 


While the commission was being executed, Mr. Byde 
and his two companions sought out quiet places in the 
dining-room. It was perhaps a proof of the inspector's 
absorption in his task that he allowed Mr. Thomas Toppin 
to direct their repast. Mr. Toppin had not borne the 
delay with the best grace in the world. How far could 
Byde have gone with this inquiry, he would like to know, 
if he, Toppin, had not been at his elbow? And here 
was Byde, in spite of his fine promises, keeping him 
down, as they all did with young fellows of promise, 
these men who had succeeded, when they found they 
had the young fellow of promise under their orders. 
Byde meant to keep him out of it, now it came to the 
pinch, although the key to this unexpected puzzle in the 
affair had positively been supplied by Toppin himself. 

"Let me know when I am to interrogate the Anarchist 
for you," pronounced Toppin majestically. 

"D n the Anarchist," said his superior officer. 

"The Anarchist? D n the Anarchist?" 

"Yes, d n the Anarchist; the Anarchist be 

d d!" replied the inspector tranquilly; plagiarising 

from his miscellaneous reading a famous anathema once 
launched against the Queen of Carthage, daughter of 
Belus, King of Tyre. 

"The Anarchist? Why, I thought " Mr. Topping 

heart swelled in his bosom. No, it was not this case 
that would give him his chance — he should have to wait 
for another, he could clearly see. Another sensational 
robbery or murder, of direct interest to the British public? 
Ah, they were not so common, and he might wait a very 
long time before he could come across a case like thifc. 
It was hard. Young fellows of promise could get no 
chance. And the lack of enterprise about the criminal 


classes was enough to disgust you with your profession. 
A lot of idle, loafing vagabonds, the criminals of the 
present day! They had no enterprise, no energy. They 
wasted nearly all their time! Mr. Toppin served the 
soup in an extremely dismal fashion, and broke his bread 
as if it were a rope he was endeavouring to pull asunder. 

The Vicomte de Bingham, ne Byers, appeared at the 
portals of the dining-room, and looked about him for the 
gentleman who had called from the Boulevard Hauss- 
mann on insurance business. As he stood there, with 
his head back, an after-dinner satisfaction upon his cheery 
countenance, and with his left hand gently stroking his 
chin, he looked a very honest, comfortable, dignified 
grandpa, who liked a glass of good Burgundy, and who 
had just been discussing two or three. 

"I love that old man," commented the inspector, 
within himself. He signalled to Mr. Bingham, and 
grandpa approached. "Not the movement of an eyelash, 
I'll take my oath," continued the inspector mentally 
— "and yet to see the three of us together, he must 
guess the game's all up. What an artist! No I can't, 
I mustn't hurt him!" 

Grandpa met the crisis like an artist, verily. Astonish- 
ment — none! Chagrin — none! Alarm — * demoralization? 
Not the minutest atom. He saluted with a tact in dif- 
ferentiation that was really exquisite: cordial warmth, to- 
wards the inspector; towards Brother Neel, a meek 
urbanity; for Toppin, ceremonious recognition. They 
had all risen. 

"Vicomte," said the inspector, "a word with you." 

He led the new-comer to a side table. 

Detective Toppin could scarcely believe his ears. 
Vicomte ! How was it possible that this old swell should 

330 the passenger from Scotland yard. 

be mixed up with the inquiry! Vicomte? He did not 
recognise him as a secret agent of the French police! 

Oh, Byde was going all wrong! Well, let him go 
wrong, then: he, Thomas Toppin, had had enough of 
trying to put him right! A pretty muddle Byde would 
land the case in. He'd end by getting himself "taken ** 
— he would! — that's how he'd end. That Hy, at the 
Prefecture, would have him "taken," 'ere* nom! The mirth 
with which this prospect filled him, Toppin would have 
longed to share with Brother Neel. They awaited silently 
the inspector's return; Brother Neel exhibiting a stony 
indifference to all that might be done and said. 

"Benjamin," began Mr. Byde, as they sat out of ear- 
shot, "get out of this while you've time." 

"Dear me! what can you be alluding to, old friend?" 

Mr. Bingham gazed about him as though he had been 
warned against an imminent conflagration — as though he 
thought the flames might just be bursting through the walls. 

"There's the Paris Directory just behind you; reach 
it over for me, there's a good fellow." Mr. Bingham 
obligingly complied with the request. "You have not 
been quite candid with me, Benny," observed the in- 
spector, as he turned the leaves; "but of course we both 
know what things are. Look here," he proceeded, in- 
dicating the section Courtiers en Bijouterie- Imitation — 
"under the B's of the dealers in imitation diamonds, etc., 
I find the name of Bingham, Rue des Petits Champs!" 

"Yes, yes," acquiesced grandpa, "that's myself." 

"You didn't tell me that you combined that business 
with your insurance agency." 

"Bless me — I believe that, now you mention it, I did 
forget that portion of my business. -Oh — a trifle, a mere 
nothing! Market not overgood." 


"The stuff you deal in isn't like the market, then." 
Inspector Byde took a small object out of his waistcoat- 
pocket and handed it to Mr. Bingham. "My compliments, 
Benny. First-rate ! " 

Grandpa received the object imperturbably, and 
examined it. 

"Yes, those are my goods," said he; " pretty near the 
real thing, hey? Cost of production low, too." 

"I borrowed it from your office when you went out 
in a hurry to insure that life." 

"Ah, yes — yes! Strange thing if you hadn't put your 
hand on something or other. Can't leave you Scotland 
Yard gentlemen alone for half a minute; must go 'lifting' 
something! Dare say you thought it was the real com- 

"I'm glad for your sake, Benny, it was not. We've 
got to find the originals, you know — the originals — and 
I'm glad for your sake that this was only a fair specimen 
of the substituted gentlemen." 

"Good product, isn't it!" returned grandpa, closing 
one eye as he again examined the imitation brilliant 
restored to him. "Sample of some new work." 

"Well, now — where are the originals, Benny?" 

"My dear Byde, what on earth can you be talking 

"Well, I won't press you, Benjamin. I know what things 
are. But satisfy me on this point: suppose we searched 
you now — here — should we find a single genuine " 

"Not one," responded Mr. Bingham with alacrity, 
"not one, even set in a ring. And you can either take 
my word for it or make your search." 

"Very well. Now, if you take my advice you won't 
rejoin your friends upstairs." 


"I think I should like just to step upstairs, and wish 

them good evening — not to be uncivil, don't you know 

little business visit — take leave " 

"What was your business with them, Benny, in case 
of very awkward questions, hereafter; what was your little 

"Insurance — lives " 

"Bad lives; one, at any rate, if our information can 
be relied upon. I think you had better not rejoin them, 

The inspector's tone and manner were decidedly 
significant. Mr. Bingham hesitated, shot a keen glance 
at his old friend, began a response, and then checked 
himself. The look upon his pleasant visage was no longer 

"Not?" said he. 

"I think not," answered the inspector. "I have got 
to go and see them." 

"Oh, well; if you think ! All right, then. I don't 


" Come and talk to our friends, until I return," suggested 
the inspector, ending the colloquy. 

They went back to the dinner-table, and apparently 
wound up an important conference on the character of 
certain continental banks. The inspector blamed his 
companions for awaiting him. He then filled a very 
small glass with brandy, swallowed the contents, and said 
he did not expect to be very long detained upstairs. 



The inspector had gone as far as the door, when he 
stopped, partially retraced his steps, and beckoned Mr. 
Toppin towards him. That zealous and active officer 
obeyed the summons with promptitude. 

"Give me a quarter of an hour," said the inspector 
to his subordinate. "If I don't return by a quarter of 
an hour from now" — they both looked at the large clock 
over the mantelpiece — "come for me to No. 19 — second 

"Danger?" asked Toppin, in better spirits. 

"Shouldn't think so; but in case " 

"What am I to do with this man, No. 21, the tem- 
perance swell?" 

"Either call in a policeman, show your credentials, 

and hand him over to the French authorities without any 

more fuss, or — yes, this will be the better course — tell 

my old friend there, the Vicomte, that it's my express 

wish that he should remain with Neel until one of us 

comes back. The Vicomte will understand it, and he'U 

never leave him. Yes, that will be the better course. 

We may as well keep the affair in our own hands. The 

French police can do what they like with the murder 

case; but we don't want to have them meddling with the 

diamond robbery, which is strictly our business, Toppin." 

"Just so," assented Toppin, in still better spirits; 

"our business entirely. I am quite of your opinion." 

"Then, in fifteen, or, say, twenty minutes from now." 

The inspector resumed his journey through the vesti- 


bule, to the foot of the staircase. As he slowly ascended 
the two flights of stairs, he summed up the eventual 
aspects of the Park Lane inquiry. There was absolutely 

no evidence against anyone. There were presumptions 

oh, any number of presumptions, likelihoods, and con- 
tingent "moral certitudes" — but when it came to finding 
the numerical values, as you might say, of these expres- 
sions, how the deuce were you to work them out? The 
inspector wished he could have brought his son Edgar 
with him, on this investigation. How that boy would 
have set to work upon his simultaneous equations of 
the first degree, with more than two unknown quan- 

Whether or not he succeeded presently, where was 
the case he could take into court? What connected the 
dead man, Remington, with the diamond robbery at old 
Stanislas Wilmot's residence in Park Lane? Young Mr. 
Sinclair, and the butler of the house, supposed to be the 
possible confederates of the deceased might be held to 
connect him with it. Yes; and young Mr. Sinclair would 
prove an alibi, very likely; and the butler, if apparently 
implicated, could get out of the position in a thousand 
ways, clearing the character of the deceased at the same 
time as he effected his own extrication. Suppose he, 
Byde, obtained possession of loose diamonds which would 
answer to the description of the property abstracted from 
the strong-room in Park Lane? Who was going to swear 
to them in court? Would Stanislas Wilmot, Esq., get into 
the witness-box and swear to the identity of the stones 
produced? Not exactly — to the satisfaction of the twelve 
good men and true. It reminded him of a trial he had 
once looked on at, in the Midlands. He must relate that 
story to his subordinate, when he rejoined him down- 


stairs. With regard to the Wilmot diamond robbery, 
there was no mistake about it — he had no case. 

It did not follow that, because he had no case, he 
had no prospect of recovering the actual Wilmot property. 
For he certainly believed by this time that the property 
stolen from the Park Lane house were genuine diamonds, 
of the value represented. Any lingering doubt upon the 
subject might perhaps be dispelled by careful search of 
Brother Neel's luggage. He felt certain that the tem- 
perance lecturer had "sweated" the contents of the black 
velvet diamond case, that a brilliant or two — or three — 
or four — might be discovered in some corner of that 
gentleman's portmanteau, or in the lining of some garment, 
newly sewn. It was just possible that he was on the 
right track of the missing valuables; but he did not see a 
tangible case for a jury, so far. When he took cases into 
court he got convictions. It was his reputation for always 
clinching the evidence, all round, that had made his 
failure in that great temperance prosecution so terrible a 
blow. He could not risk his credit this time on the 
flimsiest of circumstantial claims. He'd get the property 
back, and ask no questions. 

And Brother Neel, of the I.O.T.A.! Was he, Byde, 
to lose this precious opportunity of wiping out that 
blunder which these temperance people brought up on 
the least occasion? He had hoped to hit them very hard 
indeed through Brother Neel. , 

Would he not be justified in indicating Brother Neel 
to the French police? Let him go and tell them such a 
tale as he had told Inspector Byde that evening, in the 
presence of Toppin! What would the Surete* here think 
about it, and what would be their practical response? 
Hal— a pretty narrative, would be tfteir comment, to ex- 


plain the possession of an object which had avowedly 
been taken from the murdered man! Well — did he, 
George Byde, of the V Division, believe that narrative? 
To be quite frank upon the matter — hang it, bias apart! 
— yes, he did. 

Brother Neel had stated that he could furnish no 
detail tending to identify the murderer; and it redounded 
to his credit, thought the inspector, that he had com- 
mitted himself to nothing which might inculpate another 
individual, although he must have entertained suspicions, 
however slight, coinciding with those entertained by the 
inspector. Besides, if he, George Byde, should one of 

these days find it feasible to cancel that sign with 

that +, he wished to do it unassisted, with his own 
weapons, in a straightforward way. He did not want his 
colleagues, anywhere, to strike his retaliatory blow for 
him. It would be sweet to strike that blow, mused this 
vindictive inspector, of Division V — very sweet, after- 
wards, to quote Coriolanus to Aufidius, though not to die 
immediately thereupon. 

Number 1 9. The inspector used no ceremony. There 
was the handle of the door; he turned the handle, pushed 
the door open, stepped across the threshold, and closed 
the door again behind him. The two occupants of the 
room were lounging in easy-chairs before the hearth; and 
from the cigars they held screwed into the corners of 
their mouths ascended thin blue wreaths of an exceeding 

"Well, who was your friend, Byers?" demanded Sir 
John, with a patronising drawl. Neither he nor his com- 
panion turned, or looked up, as the door closed. 

"Grandpa's particular, that he's engaged to, I'll lay a 


thousand," observed Mr. Finch — "oh, the forward young 

"Now, my lads," began the inspector briskly; and at 
the sound of his voice they both sprang from their seats 
— "I dare say you both know me!" 

Sir John muttered an oath, pitched his cigar into the 
fire-place, and gathered himself together with an un- 
mistakable air of menace. The violence of his movement 
had been such that the cigar scattered the white ashes 
along the side of the log-fire. 

"Do you know the gentleman, Alfred?" inquired Mr. 
Finch innocently. 

"Not I!" growled his companion with another oath. 
"Blest if /do!" proceeded Mr. Finch. "Made a mis- 
take in the room, sir, ain't you?" 

"Now what's this game, my lads?" went on the in- 
spector. "Come, out with it! — You, Vine, stay where 
you are! Don't you advance another step. I've come 
prepared for you!" 

"Be quiet, Alfred — stand back," urged Mr. Finch 
mildly — "I'm sure this gentleman isn't a robber." 

"To what do we owe the pleasure " demanded 

Sir John, his face set, and his steady gray eyes shining 
very curiously. 

"Ah, I see you know what I've come about," said the 
inspector sternly. "You, Bartholomew Finch, alias Walker, 
I've not had you through my hands yet; but be careful 
how you behave. As for you, Ernest Vine, alias Grainger, 
I remember you well enough, and you remember me. It 
depends upon your conduct at this instant where you pass 
the night. Now, then, be straightforward, and save me 
trouble. If you are straightforward , I dare say we can 

Passenger from Scotland Yard. 22 


give you a fresh start. If you fence, you are in the 
custody of the French police to-night, as sure as you're 

"Why, now I look at him it is — it's Mr. Byde! Beg 
pardon, Mr. Byde, sir, didn't recognise you." 

Mr. Finch uttered these words with the most con- 
vincing air of pleased surprise. 

"In the custody of the French police? On what 
charge, I should like to know?" 

"The charge of murder." 

"Murder!" echoed Sir John, with a defiant laugh, but 
his voice faltering. "Why, you are joking with us!" 

"Yes, that's it," said Mr. Finch cheerfully — "he's 

joking, Mr. Byde is — ha! ha! A d d queer joke, 

though, Ernest." 

"And a dangerous joke, I give you the tip!" In 

Sir John's extremity, the genteel veneer which ladies 
nearly always took for good breeding disappeared. The 
ruffian suddenly asserted himself. "Murder — eh?" said he 
with a ferocious sneer. "And where's the victim?" 

"The victim lies at the Morgue," replied the inspector 
rapidly. "Once more, stay where you are, or I'll bring 
you down ! — You travelled in the night-mail from London 
with him — and with me. You followed him from place 
to place until you got to Amiens. Just after leaving 
Creil you climbed along the footboard of the carriage 
until you came to his compartment, and you shot him as 
he lay there dozing, and before he could defend himself. 
Then you took a packet from his breast-pocket In that 
packet were loose diamonds, which can be identified. 
It's for those diamonds I've come to see you now, for I 
know they are in this room!" 

There was a pause. 


"This is pretty hot," observed Mr. Finch. "It's not 
true, Jack, is it?" 

"True? Haven't I told you just what happened! The 
thing was done before I got there, and the pocket was 
empty. You'll bring me down, will you, Mr. Inspector 
Byde? By Fll charge you with this murder my- 
self! I'll swear I saw you do it, and Bat here will back 
me up." 

"Me?" protested Mr. Finch — "me? No, sir — no per- 
jury for Bartholomew! Not for Bartholomew, Mr. Wil- 

"No more of this nonsense," pursued the inspector. 
"I'm sure of my witness, Vine. I've got the man who 
interrupted you." The speaker flashed the look at Sir 
John, which, during his interview with Brother Neel, the 
latter had twice or thrice encountered. "That temperance 
fellow told us the truth, by the Lord Harry!" was Mr. 
Byde's mental pronouncement. 

"That won't do," returned Vine, alias Grainger, dog- 
gedly. "Lock me up if you're sure of your witness; and 
we'll see what he'll prove. We'll charge your witness 
with it, that's how we'll reward your witness. Where's 
this property, then, you talk about? Have I ever had it: 
is your witness going to prove that it has ever been in 
my possession? Suppose we guessed at your witness; 
suppose we told you where to put your hands upon the 
packet you're looking for; suppose it was your witness 
who had put that packet in that place; what sort of a 
case would be left to you, Mr. Inspector Byde, with your 
witness who knows all about it? Ah? — what sort of a 

"That's it!" approved Mr. Finch, winking with a very 

astute expression, and wagging his head. "You're on the 



wrong scent, Mr. Byde, take my word for it, sir. Not 
but that I will not say — that — if — we liked to speak 
out — hey, Jack ?" 

"Yes — if we liked to speak out" — echoed Sir John 

"We know what we have remarked, don't we, Jack? 
We have formed certain suspicions — as to — certain 
parties " 

"That travelled by the same train — a certain 
party " 

"As had a good deal to say to the deceased — on the 

way down — a d d sight too much to say to be 

cocum, if you ask me; and, if my memory serves me" — 
it was an air of enrapturing guilelessness, the air with 
which Finch, alias Walker, consulted his memory — "yes, 
I did! — I made that observation to you at the moment, 

"You did," acquiesced Sir John, watching the in- 

"Give me the man that likes his two of gin," pro- 
ceeded Mr. Finch absently. "These temperance Kaffirs! 
Wouldn't trust the king of them all with change for a 
sovereign! No, sir — not me! That I wouldn't!" 

"Pretty nearly done?" asked the inspector sharply. 
"Come to the point, my lads; I've only got a few more 
minutes to give you. Out with that property. I don't 
want to know how you came by it; I'll avoid putting any 
question, either now or hereafter, if you conduct your- 
selves like sensible lads; but that property is in this 
room, and that property I must have. Now I know your 
school : you are boys from Tudor Street. Show yourselves 
worthy of your school — show yourselves lads of sense. 
You're licked to-day. Throw the sponge up!" 


"Shall we stand this, Bat?" growled Vine, alias 

"My goodness me," murmured Mr. Finch — "I can't 
think what Mr. Byde's alludin' to!" 

"For the last time" — went on the inspector very 

quietly — "put those diamonds on that table! In 

another minute you will be too late. My colleague, with 
the French police at his back, will be knocking at this 
door in another minute. You know what that means. It 
means that you are both searched on the spot, the room 
ransacked, too, and that you are both locked up in a 
French prison for putting that man out, and robbing him 
of the diamonds which we know he had in his posses- 
sion. It's the guillotine for both of you — or, at least, 
they'll send you both away for life." 

"What have I done, Mr. Byde, sir?" protested Mr. 

"What do I care?" returned the inspector, with a 
sort of grim tranquillity. "If, on the other hand, you 
behave sensibly, I give you my word I'll say no more 
about the matter. My business is to take that property 
back to England, and I intend to take it back. And 
that's all. You've been minding it for me, you understand. 
You were not the original thieves; and what has hap- 
pened upon French territory concerns the French." 

"Jack," observed Mr. Finch to his companion, "very 
likely Mr. Byde is alludin' to that little parcel which we 
picked up in the street." 

There was no answer. Vine, alias Grainger, and In- 
spector Byde stood looking at each other for an instant 
or two in silence. The one was manifestly weighing the 
chances of a sudden onslaught; the other manifestly held 
himself prepared. 


"It won't pay you this time," said the inspector at 
length simply. "Another day, Vine." 

"You know, Jack, that little parcel which we picked 
up while we were out walking on the bullyvards." 

"Byers, Bingham, or whatever he calls himself, has 
it," replied Sir John sullenly. 

"He's in detention downstairs in case we want to 
search him. But I know what I am about; and I begin 
with you. — Come!" 

Vine, alias Grainger, brusquely plunged his hand into 
a ready pocket — the deep breast-pocket of a loose frock 
coat. For a moment, in that attitude he stood immovable. 
. . . The suspense — the gesture? ... On the countenances 
of the two spectators an identical thought called up 
oddly-contrasted expressions. It was Mr. Finch, however, 
who exhibited alarm. 

"Jack!" he shouted, in a tone of warning. 

Whether or not more than a single object lay within 
the dark recesses of that loose breast-pocket, the object 
which Sir John wrenched with an effort from its depths 
appeared to be not that which the two spectators had 
with differing sensations anticipated. His right hand 
grasped a canvas bag, tightly fastened, and he banged 
this "little parcel" on the table in front of him, as he 
had previously hurled into the log fire his unoffending, 
fragrant cigar. The contents emitted a slight rattle, like 
pebbles. Before an observation could be proffered, there 
was a knock at the door. 

"My colleague," announced the inspector; "you see I 
told you the truth. We need not let him into our affairs, 
and he can wait outside." 

He opened the door a little way; but it was not 
Mr. Toppin who had knocked. 


"Well!" demanded the inspector gruffly, of the person 

A few French words ensued, of surly apology. Yes, 
returned the inspector, in his Bordeaux accent, the sick 
gentleman of No. 19 certainly was at that juncture en- 
gaged with visitors; go away, and come back later! The 
service of the apartment? It could not be attended to 
just then, the apartment: allez-vous-en /aire voire service 
ailleurs. "Oh, there you are, Toppin," added the in- 
spector, as his colleague now approached along the cor- 
ridor. "Send this Anarchist savage about his business, 
and guard the entrance. You needn't come in. I mustn't 
be disturbed for a little while." 

Closing the door again behind him, he observed the 
precaution of turning the key in the lock inside. 

"That's in your interest, my lads," he remarked, tap- 
ping the key. "You've shown your sense in being straight- 
forward, and I shall keep my word. It will be your own 
fault if you make my colleague's acquaintance." 

Sir John moved back to the hearth, and sank into 
his easy-chair again. As he sat there, restlessly pulling 
at his moustache, and scowling at the pictures which his 
mind's eye imagined in the flames that sprang out fitfully 
from the half-charred logs, Inspector Byde advanced to- 
wards the round table, and picked up the securely-tied 
canvas bag. The inspector had to use his penknife, for 
the knots were perfectly Gordian. 

"A lucky thing we happened to be' passing," ventured 
Mr. Finch; "a lucky thing we happened to notice it. 
There it was, just lying on the pavement, the edge of 
the pavement; and you wouldn't have thought it was 
anything at all! I said to Jack, 'Jack,' I said, * what's 


that?' I said, 'Looks like a tobacco-pouch/ I said; and 
Jack said " 

The inspector poured forth the contents of the canvas 
bag. Oh, marvellous, indeed! A blazing prism lay be- 
fore him. One of the charred logs in the open fireplace 
gave way under the weight of fresher fuel, and from the 
new logs, hissing and crackling, a bright red flame shot 
up, broad, steady, and ardent. The dazzling heap of 
pebbles which the inspector had poured forth seemed to 
seize and intensify that sudden red flame — to break it 
up into innumerable sparks, vivid in their play of hue, 
and surely little short of ignescent. 

"The genuine article, and no mistake," ran Mr. 
Byde's mental comment; "what quality, and how they're 
cut! Phew! Not so big as to be identified easily, but, 
by the Lord Harry, quite big enough to go to Portland 
for! And as to the value of the whole lot — under- 
estimated by forty per cent! The old story. They do 
think that they are so clever, these people in the trade! 
They think it's clever, some of them, to under-state their 
loss, in any case like this — they fancy they can get the 
property restored on easier terms from the thieves. Yes, 
when you can get the thieves into negotiations — nice 
and confidential negotiations — through some third per- 
son's third friend's third wife." 

"And that's how it was we went and picked it up," 
concluded Mr. Finch. "Lucky we saw it. Somebody 
else might have come that way the very next minute, 
picked it up, and said nothing whatever about the dis- 
covery. Jack and I thought we'd advertise it Best 
thing to do, wasn't it? We were talking about an ad- 
vertisement in the newspapers just when you called in. 
Lucky you called, Mr. Byde — being acquainted with the 


rightful owners. Ah, it's a load off my mind! And it's 
quite upset poor old Jack, here!" 

The inspector counted the stones, and replaced them 
in the canvas bag. Having secured the little package 
to his satisfaction, he deposited it in one of his own 
pockets protected with a row of buttons. 

"Just come here a second, Finch," he then remarked, 
"I want you to hold this candle for me." 

Mr. Finch obeyed the request without any sign of 
wonder. Sir John, however, wheeled round in his chair, 
for an explanation of the words. The speaker had held 
one of the candlesticks above his head, and was now 
terminating a scrutiny of the entire apartment. He noted 
the three doorways, the alcove, and the windows; and 
oft and benignantly he nodded. And why? Behind 
him lay the entrance from the corridor. In front of him 
were the windows; to his immediate left stood the alcove 
and the hearth; and, to the right and left of the windows 
were apparently doorways communicating with apartments 
upon each side, beyond. 

"Well, it was no guess-work — that I can truthfully 
say," pronounced the inspector in a soft voice, and with 
a sigh of content; "it was a scientific process of in- 

"Ah," ejaculated Mr. Finch, to show his politeness, in 
the brief pause that followed — "Ah, now?" 

"Scientific induction did it!" 

Mr. Finch wrinkled up his chin by effacing its angle, 
and turned to his confederate with a puzzled air. 

"And if we would only learn to bring scientific in- 
duction into all this work," mused the inspector aloud, 
"not many cases would go wrong!" 

Mr. Finch coughed deferentially. 


"Excuse me, Mr. Byde, sir," he insinuated, "but if 
he's one of the officers at the Yard — one of the divisional 
inspectors — perhaps — if you didn't mind — we should like 
to know his name and his division, if I'm not taking a 
liberty, sir " 

"Eh?" responded the inspector, roused; "'he?' — 

"The party you was alludin' to, sir — the artful one 
— you'll excuse me, Mr. Byde; no offence, I hope? — the 
party that you'd like to bring into this work — Cy " 

"Oh, you mean my old friend Scientific Induction, 
Esquire," exclaimed the inspector good-humouredly. "No, 
Master Finch, I fear you'd put the Tudor Street school 
on to him, and block him!" 

"Well, it's no use trying to put the double on with 
you, Mr. Byde, sir," replied Mr. Finch, with a good- 
humour equal to the inspector's; "and there's no mis- 
take: we should have try." 

The inspector led the way to the closed and cur- 
tained door communicating with the chamber at his right 
hand, No. 2 1 . He entrusted the ^candlestick to Mr. Finch, 
and proceeded to remove the light article of furniture 
which stood against the curtain, a plain sheet of chintz. 
This done, he called his neighbour's attention to the fact 
that the curtain ended at the space of a foot from the 
floor. Had not Mr. Finch found the room draughty? Not 
at all, Mr. Finch assured him. The inspector went down 
on his knees, and asked for a match. 

"Don't think there's such a thing about the place," 
declared Mr. Finch. 

"Oh, I've- .some of my own," replied the inspector, 
"but I want one of the right sort — one of yours — the 
matches that last a devil of a time and don't make any 


noise when you strike 'em! It's odds you've got some on 
you!" he urged jocosely. 

"Right you are," said Mr. Finch, with equanimity, 
producing half-a-dozen noiseless matches from his waist- 
coat pocket. 

"There's your boulevard," resumed the inspector, 
passing the flame of the match along the flooring, at the 
bottom of the door; "there's the edge of your pavement. 
You forgot this line of dust, my lads. See how you dis- 
turbed it! Anybody can see it's quite freshly disturbed." 

"Where?" protested Mr. Finch stoutly. 

Sir John interposed, speaking from the other side of 
the room. 

"It's no use denying it," said he calmly; "Inspector 
Byde has found the road out. All's well that ends well. 
This ought to convince you, inspector, that we could 
have stood out, if we had -liked. I don't blame you for 
threatening us, to force our hands and wind the affair up 
sharp, but still, to threaten us with the charge of murder, 
and the guillotine, was coming it strong, inspector, 
wasn't it." 

"A bit strong, perhaps," concurred the inspector, ris- 
ing from his knees, and returning to the middle of the 

Mr. Finch restored the candlestick to its place. 

"Not to keep anything back," pursued Sir John; "we 
recognised you in the train, before it started from Lon- 
don. Even if we had come on business, was it likely 
that we should have tried at anything, with a passenger 
from Scotland Yard about us, especially when that pas- 
senger was you?" 

"Not very likely!" exclaimed Mr. Finch. 

"But we hadn't come on business. We'd come for a 


little holiday and change of air, and it's very unfortunate 
that circumstances should have made appearances awk- 
ward for us. But we know that you're not one of the 
gentlemen who are misled by appearances; and the fact 
is, we mean to cut the Tudor Street school, and turn 
over a new leaf — don't we, Bat?" 

"We do," answered Mr. Finch. 

"And, therefore, now you have found out how that 
property came into our possession, and we've admitted 
that you are right — and you have pledged your word, on 
consideration of our behaving in a straightforward manner 
— that ends the whole matter, doesn't- it? I mean that of 
course it's quite clear we can't in any way be mixed up 
with the case you threatened us with — the murder?" 

"Oh, that's not my business," returned Inspector 
Byde; "my mission ended with this" — he tapped the 
buttoned pocket containing the canvas bag. "We shall 
have the identity of the victim established by a colleague 
of mine, and the body will then be removed from the 
Morgue, for burial here, or for transit to London. No 
doubt the friends of the deceased will pay the necessary 
charges, and have the coffin sent on from here. As for 
the murderer, the French police may either shelve the 
case as classee, or get hold of somebody or other who 
had nothing to do with it, and cut his head off; but 
against the real perpetrator of the crime there does not 
seem to me to be — and of course I know something, 
although it's a French affair, and doesn't concern me per- 
sonally — the smallest piece of evidence that could be put 
before a jury." 

"But the man next door, No. 21 — the man we got 
this from?" demanded Sir John, rather eagerly. 

"Ah! the temperance party, Mr. Byde, that had so 


much to say, and that had the property by him, after- 
wards ?" 

Mr. Finch appeared to be asking himself why the 
inspector could not immediately add two and two to- 
gether, and, without any fuss at all about it, make the 
sum total at once four. 

"Brother Neel, of the International Organization of 
Total Abstainers?" Inspector Byde uttered these words 
slowly, but with no undue emphasis. "Whoever murdered 
that English traveller by the night-mail from London, I 
know that the man Neel could not have been the mur- 
derer." He turned the key in the lock. "A last word, 
my lads," he added facetiously; "if you'd like to go back 
to-morrow with me, say so, you know! Anything to oblige 
two boys who've shown so much good sense. What do 
you say, Finch — Bartholomew Finch, alias Walker? There's 
nothing against you just now, I believe; will you go back 
with me to-morrow?" 

"You'll excuse me, Mr. Byde, but — no thank you! 
Go back with you, sir? No; not exactly — you'll excuse 
me. Why, what would people say if they saw Bat Finch 
a-travelling with Inspector Byde? It would be a disgrace 
for life; I'd lose my character. I never could get over 
it! Not me, Mr. Wilkins — no, sir!" 

"And you, Vine?" asked the inspector pleasantly; 
"will you keep me company to-morrow? The 8.20 a.m. 
train from the Gare du Nord, Calais and Dover, due Hol- 
born Viaduct at 5.33 p.m., or in Victoria — which would 
be handier for you — at 5.30. It's the morning mail from 

"I would accompany you with very much pleasure, 
indeed," replied Sir John, with his most elaborate drawl; 
"but I am positively over for a holiday, and may run 


down to the South. Thanks all the same for your kind 

He had overcome his rage and disappointment, there 
could hardly be a doubt about it; he had recovered his 
assurance and his superfine genteel veneer. This was no 
longer the foul-mouthed desperado of vile origin, whose 
aliases had been recorded in the Golden Square case of 
two years ago; this was the man whose criminal asso- 
ciates, and whose pariah female patrons, in their admira- 
tion, nicknamed him The Honourable (with sometimes a 
strong aspirate) or Sir John. 

Here he stood, liar and swindler — faithless, extor- 
tionate, and spendthrift — a good-looking fellow, well-built, 
well-dressed, and, when the pinch came, quite the last 
man to be called a coward: here he swaggered — the spe- 
cious knave whom the most wise among the fair had 
always helped and liked; who never told them they were 
less than perfect; and who never sought them but for 
purposes of aggrandizement. When he passed a season 
at some fashionable resort, his surreptitious triumphs 
among the more exclusive sets became perfectly amazing 
from the moment the cold shoulder had been turned 
upon him by cousins, brothers, and lovers. 

His most remarkable victory, though an unremunera- 
tive one, he grumbled, had been gained at Scarborough 
just before the Golden Square case. He had irretriev- 
ably compromised a professional coquette (a failure on 
the stage, though honoured by the notice, and, as it was 
understood, by the personal favours of — well, go to, no 
matter for the dish — the least said soonest mended), who 
had upon that untoward incident vanished from the 
public scene, with — among other good deeds — a separa- 


tion, two divorces, an attempt at suicide, and four great 
bankruptcies to her credit. 

Sir John's gentility and splendid impudence had, on 
much worthier occasions, thrust aside plain merit or re- 
finement. His social "form" electrified the Tudor Street 
school, when they recognised their swell mobsman in the 
Row, at Epsom, at Ascot, or at Goodwood. It was a 
joke among themselves that now and then they journeyed 
by excursion trains to fashionable "fixtures" out of town, 
for the object, and for that alone, of feasting their eyes 
upon the grandeur of Sir John. In immediate contact 
with them, he maintained his "form" uneasily; and he 
certainly ought not to have indulged in it with any re- 
presentative of Scotland Yard. Yet, with a swagger, he 
now stood drawling his responses to Inspector George 
Byde, of the V Division; surveying that experienced of- 
ficer, by the Lord Harry, through an eyeglass! 

"My lads," concluded the inspector, on whom such 
manifestations were always lost — "we start clear from 
this evening: keep out of my way." In another instant, 
he was gone. 

Mr. Toppin informed his colleague, as together they 
retraced their steps, that he had adopted the precaution 
of just speaking to a French plain-clothes man, in a 
friendly way, to watch the temperance gentleman down- 
stairs, whilst he himself should happen to be absent. 
He had noticed the plain-clothes man hanging about at 
the end of the street, and fancied he would do well to 
enlist his temporary services; seeing that the Vicomte, 
Mr. Byde's elderly friend — and here Mr. Toppin glanced 
at the inspector dubiously — had altogether failed to com- 
prehend him when he, Mr. Toppin, tipped him the office, 


gave him the hint, and tendered him the cue. In fact, 
that old buck would not stay in their society at all. 

"What, he's left you?" demanded the inspector, 
startled, notwithstanding his conviction that he had fully 
grasped the entire case, and that no issue remained over 
unaccounted for. Yes, he had left them, but he had pro- 
mised to come back for a chat with Mr. Byde by the 
time the latter had dined. Before quitting the hotel he 
had appeared to be gossiping with the lady in the bureau. 
He, Mr. Toppin, should say that the old chap had created 
an impression in that quarter. 

"You look pale, inspector," added Mr. Toppin inqui- 

The inspector said he felt he wanted an underdone 
beefsteak and a pint of good stout in a cool tankard. 

"You can't get that here," observed Mr. Toppin. 

"No; but this time to-morrow Fll be drinking your 
health, friend Toppin, in the finest stout in the borough 
of Westminster. And Fll" be dining off a British beef- 
steak at the 'Silver Gridiron,' where there's a draught 
from every door and window, and sawdust on the ground." 

"To-morrow, inspector! Then you^go back ?" 

"By the morning-mail, 8.20 from the Northern Ter- 

"How's the case, then?" asked Toppin anxiously. 

'•AH over but shouting, my boy! The genuine pro- 
perty goes back with me to-morrow, and within three 
days you'll get a letter of commendation from the 

"Shall I, inspector? You'll report ?" 

"Fll do the right thing by you, Toppin; you'll have 
no cause to complain of my report. I don't forget how 
you've helped me through." 


"Mr. Byde, sir " began his subordinate with 


"That's all right ," continued the inspector, "I see 
what it is; you only want a little encouragement." 

"That's all, Mr. Byde, that's all, I assure you," de- 
clared Toppin eagerly. "A little encouragement — that's 
just it!" 

At the foot of the staircase the inspector checked his 

"Now here's a minor part of the inquiry you can deal 
with by yourself," said he. "The Wilmot diamonds are 
now in my pocket — all of them, we'll suppose, except, 
perhaps, two or three or four. I rather imagine that 
those two or three or four may be met with in room 
Nr. 21, hidden away somewhere, under lock and key. 
Take the man Neel upstairs with you, and find them." 

Brother Neel barely deigned to move as they rejoined 
him. On being apprised of Mr. Toppin's errand, how- 
ever, his perturbation became, evident to at any rate one 
pair of penetrating eyes. Outraged virtue protested in 
his tone; the honour and dignity of the I.O.T.A. con- 
fronted a traducer, in his phrasing and his magnificent 
pose. How he did sublimely cast those long, unparted 
oily locks back from his noble brow — the platform gesture 
of a million oratorical mountebanks! Oh, the generous 
fire of that regard, and oh, the leonine head ! 

The inspector looked on like a very wicked old 
Grimalkin, whose mere aspect at this moment should 
have cured any unctuous, tub-thumping Grand Worthy 
Master or brother of the I.O.T.A. of any incipient ten- 
dency towards moral turpitude. 

At length alone, the inspector set about his late meal 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 23 


in good earnest. His subordinate officer and Brother 
Neel remained longer absent than he had anticipated. 

When Mr. Toppin reappeared, he* was unaccompanied 
by the lecturer. 

"Nothing!" he exclaimed excitedly; "found the lock 
of his portmanteau forced when he got upstairs. 'The 
Anarchist, for a thousand/ said I. 'Haven't the least 
cognizance of your meaning, my dear friend,' said he. 
And here it is! he won't admit that the lock has been 

forced — d d glad he is that it has been forced! Of 

course I searched, and of course there was nothing. But 
I'm after the Anarchist now! He's done his work and 
gone home it seems; and I'll be after him, if I take a 
streetful of the police to get the stones for you by to- 
morrow morning — or perhaps to-night." 

"No, not to-night, Toppin — I want a good night's 
rest, and I shall turn in early. Before 8.20 to-morrow 
morning, at the Gare du Nord. And, by the way, I 
want you particularly to see me off. You had better 
come to my hotel first. I expect to be followed on the 
way back to London, and I want you to watch the station 

The inspector escorted Mr. Toppin to the vestibule. 
Grandpa had returned to the hotel bureau, and was gos- 
siping more than affably with its lady-president Grandpa's 
gallantry of manner grew with each compliment he rounded, 
and with each compliment more melting grew the widowed 

"Wonderful old boy," murmured the inspector. 
"They'd make a nice old couple, too!" 

But the inspector here, at any rate, misread the mani- 
festations. Grandpa was reflecting — . 



"Clever woman — knows the world — must look in soon 
and offer a commission — directly Byde's out of the way. 
Could put a lot of business into our hands, this wide- 
awake old rosebud here!" 

The lady was reflecting— 

"Mais il est chartnant, ma chere — charmant — .mats 
charmant, ce vieux monsieur! D'un galant! D'une 
distinction! There are then Englishmen like this? What 
courtly grace, and what adorable simplicity! His foreign 
accent not too harsh — piquant, when you get accustomed 
to it — oui, ma chere — et puis, un vicomte ! The usage of 
the best world! And so I should be vicomtesse? The 
Baron X. will be so glad to hear of this! And when he 
knows I'm rich and married he's certain to come to me 
again ! " 

"You think, then, you'll be followed back to- 
morrow?" inquired Toppin seriously. "They'll have an- 
other try?" 

"I hope so," answered the inspector. "I've laid the 




Inspector Byde had noted down so many points for 
his brief conference with Toppin on the following day, 
prior to his own departure from Paris, that he had in- 
tended to rise somewhat early, in the hope that (Mr. 
Toppin being a young man who was never punctual to 
his appointments, but always vexatiously in advance) half 
an hour or so might be available for the discussion of 
some hitherto unattempted theorems. He did rise early 
— earlier than he had intended. An unexpected caller 
sent his card up at an untimely hour. The inspector 
was still wrapped in the refreshing sleep which no doubt 
blesses "virtue's votary" quite as often as it recompenses 
vice, after the "pleasures of a well-spent day," when a 
discreet knocking at his chamber door roused him at 
6.12. It was one of the hotel servants, who struggled 
out of his bed every morning to meet the arrivals by the 
English mail. 

The gentleman who sent this card up to monsieur, 
explained the servant apologetically, would not wait a 
single instant. He was a gentleman in a hurry to see 
monsieur: a foreigner: had luggage with him: not much 

luggage, but the candle? to bring in the candle? 

certainly, monsieur — the dawn not breaking at this season 

of the year until close upon was it that he was 

alone, the traveller? Apparently the traveller was alone: 
but peremptory — in a hurry to send his name up to 


"Mr. A. W. Sinclair," read the inspector, by the light 
of the candle. 

Yes, there were the characters — Mr. A. W. Sinclair. 
Information against him must have broken down, then? 
No case whatever, that was evident! In his heart of 
hearts the inspector could not repress a certain feeling 
of surprise that so much promptitude in releasing this 
innocent person should have been employed by, as he 
phrased it with habitual caution, the powers that be. It 
might have been found that not the slightest justification 
could be adduced for the information laid by old Stanislas 
Wilmot; the wrongful detention had been shown to be a 
glaring instance of wrong, etc., etc.; and notwithstanding 
all that — well, did he not understand the way they went 
along, too many of them? — and did he not know how 
easily the magistrates of police courts could be led into 
conceding unfair postponements and remands, prejudicially 
though these might affect the prisoner, and warranted only 
by impressionist conjecture, mere "appearances?" He 
should say, whatever might be the resources Mr. Sinclair 
had controlled, that the young gentleman was to be con- 
gratulated on getting out of this Park Lane affair so 
soon. Strange, all the same, that he himself should have 
received no word by telegram of the release. Inspector 
Byde looked at his watch, gave the servant a direction, 
locked the door again, satisfied himself once more as to 
the safety of the packet in his temporary charge, and 
plunged his head into a basin of cold water. 

The visitor, who was ushered upstairs after the short 
interval ordered by Mr. Byde, addressed the latter in a 
cheery voice, at once recalling to his mind the night of 
the arrest on Dover platform. A suspicion as to the 


genuineness of this card bearing the name of Mr. Sinclair 
had, to tell the truth, occurred to the inspector, and be- 
fore admitting his caller, he had gone back to the heavily- 
curtained bedstead to possess himself of two small ob- 
jects, reposing well out of view, but well within the 
sleeper's reach, underneath the pillow. 

He had never seen this Mr. Sinclair. The frank 
accents, however, that now fell upon his ears were un- 
doubtedly those which had so firmly and distinctly replied 
to the condolences offered by the dead man Remington 
— the false condolences of the very man who, at the 
moment of his uttering them, had the stolen Wilmot 
diamonds in his own possession. 

"You will know me by name, I dare say, Mr. Byde," 
began the visitor, with no trace of either chagrin or 
resentment — "at least, when I tell you that I am just in 
from Dover, and that the supposed case against me alto- 
gether collapsed, you will know where to place me in 
connection with your present business here. They told 
me at Dover that I might do well to give you a call im- 
mediately on arriving in Paris, and that coincided with 
my own desire. They fancied, for some reason or other, 
that you might be leaving for Amsterdam, or elsewhere, 
the very first thing this morning — if you had not, in fact, 
already gone away. If I would be good enough to do 
so, they said, I was to report myself to Mr. Byde, Ter- 
minus Hotel — I was to report myself and my release at 
once. And as I had heard by telegram of your very 
great kindness to friends of mine here, I was particularly 
anxious to intercept you." 

He added a few simple words of thanks, naming only 


Mrs. Bertram in reference to his friends; and then ex- 
pressed a perfectly impartial hope for the inspector's 
early and complete success in the investigation. 

It was too bad to intrude upon him at such an hour; 
but, apart from the suggestion submitted to him with 
great courtesy at Dover, Mr. Sinclair had wished to know 
without delay what news the inspector might be able to 
give him of the friends he had spoken of — the friends 
residing in the Avenue Marceau. Of course he could 
not present himself there yet awhile. He had wired to 
them, definitively, last evening; and no doubt they were 
in expectation of his arrival. Had the inspector heard 
at all from the Avenue Marceau, late last night? 

Packing his valise with the celerity of a practised 
campaigner, the inspector answered this and other ten- 
tative queries in a manner which indicated to his guest 
that he was substantially cognisant of the tie that bound 
Mr. Austin Sinclair to Miss Knollys. Their mutual avoidance 
of the young lady's name only brought into greater promi- 
nence her passive share in the determination of Mr. Sin- 
clair's recent fortunes. 

It was Mr. Sinclair himself who eventually pronounced 
her name. He did so with an effort, as though shrink- 
ing from an act equivalent to desecration; but, having 
once broken silence with regard to her, he spoke of no 
one but Miss Adela Knollys to the inspectbr. 

Sincerely, how had she borne the news of his dis- 
grace? The inspector had visited at the Avenue Marceau, 
and had seen both ladies since: how had Miss Knollys 
appeared to view the frightful humiliation he had under- 
gone — the shame of a suspected criminality, the blemish 
of imprisonment? 


"I am afraid — I am afraid," continued this young 
fellow, with a very honest blush, and his voice beginning 
to tremble; "I was confident and steady enough until it 
was all over, but then — well, by Jove, inspector, I couldn't 
help fearing for the moral consequences — you know — as 
a man of the world " 

The inspector shut down the top of his valise, and 
stood upright again. 

"I tell you what it is, Mr. Sinclair ," said he, "and 
having been honoured by the confidence of that young 
lady, I may perhaps have had fairly good opportunities 
for judging — you are an extremely fortunate young gentle- 
man, sir!" 

The visitor sprang to his feet and grasped Inspector 
Byde by the hand. 

The inspector had been seeking for symptoms of the 
"peremptoriness" reported to him, but had sought for 
them in vain. On a closer examination he fancied he 
could detect a considerable store of the decision of 
character to which he had heard Mrs. Bertram make 

This was a fellow, thought the inspector, who would 
grapple with difficulties, and no mistake; although this 
was also a fellow in whom a great deal of sentiment, 
don't you know, existed side by side with heaps of silent 
energy — not the commonest of co-ordinates. It was to 
be remarked that the inspector phrased it "sentiment," 
not "sentimentality," and that — a man of the world, as 
Mr. Sinclair had observed — he did not in the least ap- 
pear to look upon sentiment as either effeminate, or 
ridiculous, or in any conceivable fashion "bad form." 
He judged according to his humble lights, did he not? 


And what is more, as a man of the world, he might 
have been found excusing even sentimentality. In his 
professional explorations of human nature he had so 
often traversed arid, flat, unhorizoned, monotonous wastes. 

A few words enlightened the inspector as to the cir- 
cumstances of Mr. Sinclair's release. That gentleman had 
not merely proved his own alibi, he told Mr. Byde; he 
had incidentally furnished clues to the actual perpetrators 
of the Park Lane diamond robbery. 

On and about the date of the robbery, he was at- 
tending the last moments of an aged relative, by whom 
he had been hastily summoned from London. His relative 
lived at Chelmsford, and so far as the alibi was con- 
cerned, it was complete. With the knowledge which he, 
Mr. Sinclair, had of Stanislas Wilmot's personal disposi- 
tion, as well as of his business enterprises, he had had 
no difficulty in at once comprehending the real bearings 
of his own case. 

That being so, while quietly submitting to the arrest, 
he had lost no time in assailing Mr. Wilmot through a 
certain channel of private influences — irresistible in- 
fluences, by Jove! Wilmot had rushed down post-haste 
to Scotland Yard to retract his information, inasmuch as 
it affected his former secretary. And there they had 
talked to him rather sternly. 

The thing might be made exceedingly unpleasant for 
old Stanislas Wilmot if he, Mr. Sinclair, chose to go on 
with it. But any measures of retaliation would infallibly 
bring before the public gaze at least one other name 
than theirs, and to avoid such an eventuality as that, he 
would be willing to resign himself to much more than 


had actually been visited upon him. Wilmot had sent a 
special messenger to Dover with an apology that might 
have satisfied the most exacting of individuals. 

Mr. Sinclair laughed cheerily as he said this. What 
did it matter to him, he added tranquilly, if he had not 
fallen in the esteem of the sole person whose esteem he 
cared about! The testamentary appointment of Stanislas 
Wilmot as the guardian of Miss Knollys vested powers 
in that gentleman which could be rendered little short 
of despotic during the legal infancy of his ward. 

He, Mr. Sinclair, had not wished to involve Miss 
Adela Knollys in large financial losses by any precipitate 
action of his own; at the same time, he had very keenly 
felt the possible reproach that he was ready enough to 
wait until she could come into the possession of her in- 
dependent means. It might have been feasible to upset 
the will on the ground of undue influence. 

However, matters had turned out satisfactorily. Wil- 
mot had ventured too far. Having by degrees shut his 
ward off from all society except that of a few queer City 
associates and their showy wives — whom the young lady, 
obeying her instinct, had ultimately refused to meet — he 
had ended by making her virtually his prisoner. She 
had been obliged to quit the Park Lane house almost by 

"She preceded me here," concluded Mr. Sinclair — 
"and sent me word she had done so: and of course I 
came on — when that little interruption took place at 
Dover. I talk freely to you, inspector, because I can see 
you are a good fellow, and because, in the matter of 
confidences, you gentlemen exercise sometimes the sort 


of rights exercised by the medical man. Besides, you 
have been very kind to her — I know that from a message. 
Well, by Jove, look here — I am not worthy of that splendid 

"Yes, you are," thought the inspector, watching him; 
although, as the reader does not need to be reminded, 
he had himself been subjugated by the charm; in which 
state of mind, whether the homage be "paternal," or in 
the strictest sense the converse of Platonic, the vassal 
frequently exhibits the fiercest scorn for any fellow-slave 
who would approach too near. 

"I had not seen my relative for some years," con- 
tinued Mr. Sinclair. "We quarrelled a long time ago. 
He was a dictatorial old boy, and wanted me to go into 
the Church. I refused, and he took up one of my cousins, 
an awfully loose fish at college, but now a curate. Well, 
what do you think this poor old boy did? Had my 
movements followed, wherever I went, and always kept 
an eye upon me as I was struggling along. I almost feel 
angry with him, now that I know it, for never affording 
me an opportunity of showing him that I was not un- 
grateful. Poor old boy, he's dead now. He received 
me quite roughly when I appeared at his bedside, the 
other day; and then — and then — by Jove, in his last 
few minutes, he whispered that he had provided for me. 
And so he has — handsomely! An old brick, he was — a 
fine old Englishman ! If it could have given him back his 
health at all, Fd have gone into the Church, even now!" 

The inspector folded his travelling-wrap over his valise, 
and sat down for a moment after his labours. "You are 
relieved of one great anxiety, at any rate," said he. 

"Yes — thanks to him." 


"And so all is going to end up happily? Why, that's 
as it should be!" 

"As it should be — yes; and as too often it isn't. I 
don't see, either, what Fve done, myself, to deserve this 
good fortune; but there are so many rogues in the world 
who are infinitely more prosperous upon nothing but mis- 
deeds, that I may as well accept it without any scruple. 
You'll think it odd, perhaps, but I half feel I owe it to 
the old boy to go into the Church." 

"Go into the Wesleyan Church," urged the inspector, 
who, to please Mrs. Byde, rented sittings in the Wesleyan 
temple of their own locality, but never had been able to 
get along with the successive ministers. 

"Well," objected Mr. Sinclair, "my relative was very 
Church of England." 

"Ah — just so!" acquiesced the inspector. 

Directing the conversation upon his personal part in 
the Wilmot inquiry, Inspector Byde recapitulated briefly 
such of the main facts as he deemed it advisable to 
communicate. The murder was, of course, already known 
to Mr. Sinclair. The latter would not need to appear in 
that affair; and no doubt the excitement it had caused 
here would rapidly subside. Remington would be formally 
identified through a colleague of Mr. Byde's. As to the 
assassin, the French police possessed absolutely no clue, 
and they would most likely add the case soon to their 
catalogue of affaires classees, that is to say, unexplained. 
He, Mr. Byde, was on the track of the missing valuables. 
It was lucky Mr. Sinclair had looked in; he was leaving 
by the morning mail at 8. 20. 

Mr. Sinclair replied, after a pause, that there could 
be no reason why he should disguise the fact that 


Remington was one of the two men whom his informa- 
tion, furnished at Dover to a Sergeant Bell, from Scot- 
land Yard, directly implicated. The details must be in 
course of verification at the present moment, and by the 
time Inspector Byde returned to Scotland Yard, the story 
would have been completed for him. Not to prejudice 
the other man unduly, he would prefer just now to with- 
hold the name which had been coupled with that of the 
deceased. The inspector would go fresh to his facts on 
reaching London. Mr. Sinclair had left Dover at ten 
o'clock on the previous evening. The train was the re- 
gular night-mail to the Continent; the train by which he 
had originally journeyed; it was just as if he had stepped 
out for a stay at Dover, with the object of profiting by 
the sea air, and as if, when he had had enough of it, he 
had merely stepped in again, to come along. Mr. Sinclair 
laughed cheerily once more. Life had opened out brightly 
for him. 

The travelled waiter who knew his Battersea arrived 
at this instant with "correspondence for Mistaire Bydee 
which have been delivered late last night, and have been 
overlook by the confrere then on duty." One of the 
missives he brought was a note which had not passed 
through the post; the other was a telegram. 

"Have you opened these?" asked the recipient. 
Opened them? Mais, monsieur! — 
"Have you opened these?" 

But, certainly we did not permit ourselves to violate 
the correspondence of our clients; and we had our honour 

— and we had our probity — and 

"Come! come! Have the contents of these gone down 
to the Prefecture?" — But assuredly not! — Monsieur Hy 


being in relations with the colleague of Monsieur Bydee! 
At the Prefecture he had been told so. Aha! monsieur 
was no architect, then, after all. He (Mr. Byde and the 
waiter) turned out to be colleagues — only it would be 
just as well not to mention the Prefecture at the hotel, 
hein? As you said in English, "Ma'am is the word!" 
Monsieur would be coming down to breakfast? Plenty 
of time. Mr. Byde's colleague vanished, smiling mysteri- 
ously, like a brother mason. 

"They have most likely been opened," pronounced 
the inspector. The telegram proved to be from Sergeant 
Bell, communicating the fact of Austin Wortley Sinclair's 
release, and preparing him for that young gentleman's 
early visit. The note proved to be two notes: Mrs. Bertram 
wrote in the third person to inform him "in great haste" 
that shortly after reaching home she received a second 
message from Mr. Sinclair, announcing his departure for 
Paris, inasmuch as all had been disposed of. The coach- 
man would convey this hurried scrawl to Mr. Byde's ad- 
dress at once. Mrs. Bertram would feel so pleased if 
Inspector Byde would dine with them on Christmas Day 
— quite en famille. 

"Christmas Day?" exclaimed the inspector — "Why, 
of course, to-morrow's Christmas Eve! Capital! I can 
spend my Christmas at home in Camberwell — that is," 
he added, half to himself — "unless I meet with ac- 

"And the other note?" hazarded Mr. Sinclair, with- 
out heeding the ominous qualification. 

The inspector opened the enclosure, a small sheet of 
rough gray note-paper, folded fantastically. 

"From Miss Knollys," said he, after glancing thisbugh 


the serried lines. "Thanks me over and over again for 
all I have done, and will never, never, never forget it. 
But Fve done nothing! Well, I congratulate you, Mr. 
Sinclair. You have won almost an ideal nature — excuse 
me, sir." 

"Look here, inspector," exclaimed the young man — 
" my conscience smote me, just now, when I was keeping 
back a portion of the story from you. The last time I 
saw her was the day before her departure for Paris. I 
didn't know she was coming on here so soon. We met 
by appointment at a registrar's office — and — the fact is, 
inspector, I am married to Miss Knollys!" 

"Married to her!" 

"Yes. And I haven't seen her since. Her maid 
accompanied her; and we parted when the formalities 
were gone through. And that's what made me fright- 
fully apprehensive. She bears my name now. Any dis- 
honour to myself means dishonour to her. It's the same 
maid who has come on here with her, and she had ex- 
hibited the greatest affection for Miss Knollys — indeed, 

"A devoted confidential maid!" commented the in- 
spector incredulously. "A confidential maid devoted to 
her mistress! Why, when will women know one another? 
A confidential maid: well, now, I've been looking for the 
link, and perhaps I've found it. Do you know anything 
about this devoted confidential maid?" 

"No; can't say I do," answered Mr. Sinclair, startled. 
"She's a girl of rather striking personal appearance, and 
her name is Murdoch — Lydia Murdoch." 

That grim smile of the inspector's broke over his 


"Hah! just so, just so!" he murmured; "I should have 
got at it scientifically. Mayfair case — divorce proceed- 
ings Montmorency Vane — Vine, alias Grainger — good! I 
should have been glad of an interview with the hand- 
some Miss Murdoch, but can't spare the time. Toppin 
must see to it. If I were you, Mr. Sinclair, I should send 
that confidential maid about her business. Her antece- 
dents are deplorable." 

"You don't mean that?" 

"Yes. There's nothing she can be directly charged 
with that I can see. She's too clever for that. But let 
her carry her devotion somewhere else; let her get into 
somebody else's confidence. She has had a pensioner 
with very expensive tastes, and I dare say she'd replace 
him even if we managed to relieve her of the pensioner. 
Where there's one, there's two. And honest people get 
victimised. Lady-like girl, too, Miss Murdoch! Do me 
the favour of breakfasting with me, Mr. Sinclair. My 
colleague will be here presently; and you will be able to 
testify to Mrs. Bertram how hurriedly I have been obliged 
to leave. I shall ask you to make my excuses." 

An earlier visitor than Toppin, however, arrived to 
say a few farewell words to Mr. Byde. 

Grandpa called while they were at breakfast. He 
seemed quite hurt that the inspector should refrain from 
introducing him to the strange young gentleman seated 
at his left hand. 

"Your friend might like to know a vicomte," he 

"Don't insist, Benny," urged the inspector soothingly 
— "I'd really rather not. And, besides, he knows better 
than that!" 


Monsieur de Bingham then drew a large pill-box out 
of his waistcoat pocket, and screwed it up tightly in 

"A little memento from Finch and myself," said he; 
"but don't look at it until you get on your journey." 

"If they are antibilious, Benjamin, I assure you " 

"Well, never mind; that's our present, and I give you 
my word that you can accept it. That's right — put it in 
your pocket. You know very well I wouldn't ask you to 
commit yourself to anything incompatible with your posi- 
tion. How we do understand each other, you and I!" 

"Where is Master Finch?" 

"Not up yet. Too early for him. But he sends you 
his compliments, and wants to know whether he can go 
back to Soho for his Christmas?" 

"So far as I am concerned, certainly. And he can 
take a walk up Oxford Street on Boxing-day. We start 

"I may as well tell you," added grandpa, grasping 
the inspector heartily by the hand — "that the present is 
Bartholomew's rather than mine, although he might not 
have brought 'himself to offer it to you, but for me." 

"That's very kind of you, Benjamin, I'm sure. Silver- 
coated, are they?" 

"More than silver-coated they are. And now, old 
friend, good-bye, good-bye." 

The inspector was escorting his visitor. 

"Oh, we shall meet again soon, I dare say," he replied 
— "but I hope it won't be professionally, Benjamin. Keep 
out of it." 

"Old friend," exclaimed grandpa, with a change of 
manner which recalled his outburst in the Rue des Petits 

Passenger from Scotland Yard* 24 


Champs — "I respect you — I do, indeed. I should grieve 
to hear that you had met with accidents." 

Grandpa looked as fresh and spry and dignified 
as ever; but you would have said his eyes were moist- 

"I hope that there are no serious accidents in store 
for me, Benjamin?" 

Mr. Bingham hesitated, and then spoke out impul- 

"Between this time and to-morrow," said he, averting 
his glance, "accidents might happen to you, old friend — 
they might, they might!" 

"I see you did rejoin your friends last night after all, 

"How we do understand each other, don't we!" re- 
peated grandpa. 

A fresh grasp of the hand, and he was gone, 

"Well done, Benjamin," mused the inspector, gazing 
after Mr. Bingham; "I really don't think he would like to 
see me hurt!" 

Toppin came up presently, and his colleague made 
ready to supply him with the final instructions. Mr. 
Toppin's countenance, however, wore a crestfallen ex- 
pression that was quite painful. 

"A mishap," he began. "No luck!" 

"In a few words ?" 

"Got the Anarchist's address from the hotel, and 
collared him in his lodging. Hinted at the Prefecture of 
Police, and put the matter to him as a fellow-revolutionist 
My suspicions perfectly well-founded. He wouldn't liet 
Told me he had forced Neel's portmanteau because Neel 
seemed to be a pri&st-lfourgeois, the worst kind of dour*' 


geois for the working man. Had meant to restore to the 
working man something of what the bourgeoisie had taken 
from him. Searching the special receptacles of the port- 
manteau, had found six loose diamonds, twisted up in a 
kid glove. Had meant them as a donation to his lodge. 
Resigned them on my representations. Said there were 
plenty of jewellers' windows to be smashed in, whenever 
the Anarchists chose, along the Rue de la Paix and in 
the Palais-Royal." 

"Well, where are the stones?" 

"Infernal mishap! Went to the Grand Circus to pass 
an hour, last night being the night of the week — and — 
well, there, I must have lost them. Extraordinary! Can't 
imagine how it happened. Haven't slept a wink all night." 
Toppin did look very much upset. "Ran against that 
old friend of yours there, by the way, and had a talk 
with him," he added — "the Vicomte." 

"Oh, ah, yes," observed the inspector; "the Vicomte 
— just so! You must have had your pocket picked, friend 

"There's no French thief could pick my pocket," 
declared Toppin somewhat indignantly. 

"It was an English thief, perhaps? They do come 
over, you know." 

"Yes, they do come over. But I'd like to see the 

man, English or anything else No, I must have 

dropped them somehow!" 

The inspector turned to take his leave of Mr. Sinclair. 
They exchanged addresses, talked for a moment or two 
about the future, and then parted; and, from their 
cordial bearing, Toppin judged them to be old acquaint- 


yjl the passenger from Scotland yard. 

Mr. Byde's conference with his subordinate dealt more 
particularly with the affairs of the I.O.T.A. 

Brother Bamber was to be carefully kept in view. 
That was a personage, remarked the inspector, who might 
some day have to cut his long, fair, silky beard off, dye 
his eyebrows, "stop out" his front teeth, and get away. 
The Yard might possibly, one of these fine mornings, 
send a word to Toppin to look after him; and the Yard 
might be "a day behind the festivity;" unfortunate con- 
tretongs of that description had occasionally occurred. 
It would be a good thing for Detective Toppin if he 
could be present at the festivity, or anticipate it; that 
was how men rose in the profession. 

Brother Bamber, Paris agent of the I.O.T.A., was 
playing at two or three games simultaneously. Did the 
inspector, as he threw off these suggestions, feel much 
confidence that Toppin would rise rapidly in the pro- 

The inspector stood there quite inscrutable. The 
sculptured features of his meerschaum Sphinx could not 
have been less instinct with opinion than his own. We 
know, however, that Toppin did show great improvement 
in a sensational case which he conducted not long after- 

With regard to the position of Brother Neel, nothing 
in that matter would require Toppin's notice. Mr. Toppin 
might do well to make a visit to the Avenue Marceau, 
No. 95, and ascertain the movements of one Lydia 
Murdoch, lady's-maid in the service of Miss Knollys. If 
he could strike up an acquaintance with her, it might 
prove useful. Friend Toppin had better lose no time 
about it. A good "fake" for him with the party in ques- 


tion would be the superior betting-man, down on his luck 
a bit — "you know — nothing loud or horsey — nothing 
common or flash: the scrupulously-dressed betting-man, 
with only one ring; the fellow who can talk, without 
forcing it, about the sporting baronets and noblemen he 
meets on English racecourses. See?" 

Mr. Toppin said he saw, and that he fancied it was 
just what he could do. In fact he caught at the mis- 
sion eagerly. What he saw more vividly than his own 
metamorphosed figure, thus outlined roughly for him by 
Inspector Byde, was the other figure which his duty now 
commanded him to approach. An imperial shape, in one 
fleeting, statuesque attitude, again defined itself before 
his gaze, as he stared unintelligently at his superior 
officer. Toppin, the practical Detective Thomas Toppin, 
felt absolutely nervous as he seemed to see once more 
the clear pale face — the large dark eyes — the dark blue, 
large, perturbing eyes. 

"And here's a message to the Yard which I've written 
out for you," proceeded the inspector; "and I want you 
to hand it into the telegraph-office as soon as my train 
starts. We separate here; and now, mind, I want you to 
watch the station until " 

They were standing in front of the terminus, to the 
right of the main entrance under the clock. Cabs, with 
travellers and their luggage, bound for the morning-mail 
to England, had already driven up to the left side of the 
station, and disappeared through the iron gateway. Look- 
ing at Toppin as he addressed him, the inspector paused 
in his observations to follow the direction of that officer's 
fixed regard. 

One of the cabs had driven up behind them, and 


had there stopped. A female form, clad in a stylish 
travelling costume, had alighted, and that form had 
suddenly embodied Mr. Toppin's mental picture. It was 
— "the party in question." 

"'Cr/ nom de noms de noms," muttered Toppin, dis- 
appointed and crushed, "she's going away!" 

"She's going by the mail," said the inspector, "then 
it's a rendezvous. Be off, Toppin! Hand in the mes- 
sage. We can't bring the Remington case home, but, by 
the Lord Harry, I'll have the man on another charge be- 
fore I eat my Christmas dinner!" 



Opening the small packet placed in his hands by Mr. 
Bingham, the inspector found exactly what the circum- 
stances of his colleague's misadventure led him to ex- 
pect. They were not antibilious pills, nor any pharma- 
ceutical preparation in coating of either silver or gold; 
they were finely-cut brilliants of the purest water, and in 
number they were half-a-dozen. 

The inspector satisfied himself upon the point with- 
out attracting the attention of his fellow-passengers. He 
stowed Mr. Finch's present away in the pocket rendered 
secure by the row of buttons; and as he reflected that 
he was now carrying back the recently-stolen Wilmot 
diamonds, in all probability not one missing, he set him- 
self, as was his wont at the conclusion of successful in- 
quiries, to review his progress step by step, and to 
examine at every successive step the environing pos- 
sibilities of error. 

The sudden remark of a fellow-passenger that they 
might be traversing at this very moment the actual scene 
of the unexplained railway murder, broke into his 
analytical exercises. And then all the passengers got up 
from the places where they had comfortably ensconced 
themselves, and crowded towards the windows, as though 
the crime had not yet been committed, and might be 
just about to begin; or as if they were unable to resist 
the notion that the assassin had remained ever since 


upon the spot, but at the side of the line, out of danger 
of the passing trains, and that, as they dashed by, he 
would settle his feet in the third position, and make his 

Creil left in its rear, the mail-train rushed onwards 
to Amiens. It was a " gray-day :" not too cold, the pas- 
sengers commented, for the season of the year — and dry. 
Darkness would have set in some time before they 
steamed into Victoria, thought the inspector. 

He had his programme determined for the evening. 
That in an unknown portion of the train there was a 
man who meant to steal upon him with the dusk, he did 
not for an instant doubt — a man who, if they sat alone, 
they two, by chance, would bound upon him when he 
looked aside, or, if the vicinage of others held him back, 
would watch him at arm's length ceaselessly and in 
silence until they reached their journey's end — a man 
who meant to dog his footsteps, and at the first dire 
opportunity to stay them — a man who at the last resort 
would check him at the threshold of his goal, and seize 
him with a reckless fury by the throat — he did not 
doubt that, somewhere in the train, that man lurked and 

Amiens and Abbeville; Boulogne; Calais. The in- 
spector had not changed his place while the mail-train 
sped over French soil to its destination on the coast. 
Here lay the Calais pier, however; the Channel boat 
placidly awaited them; and he should now learn whether, 
as he hoped, a murderer was resolutely following in his 

Yes — as he had planned it, so would be the de'uout* 


ment: oh, well enough he recognised the man who with 
bent head pushed into the midst of the last voyagers 
embarking! The tall shapely woman whom the inspector 
likewise eyed with recognition — was she or was she not, 
wondered half-a-dozen of the Lresistibles grouped near 
the gangway, the appurtenance of that same personage 
who, with his head down, walked a little in advance of 
her, and never spoke? 

The Lresistibles, French or English, in commerce or 
diplomacy, were always ready to assist the unprotected 
siren "going across." Periodical travellers "by this route," 
they knew how to secure precious comforts for any quak- 
ing Circe who might have recompenses to bestow sub- 
sequently. When they met again together, after good 
actions of this sort, they would while away the tedium 
of an uneventful passage by relations of their subsequent 
rewards. From the jocularities of their narrative style, it 
might then have seemed to Circe that the piece of magic 
recorded in an ancient chronicle were being turned against 
herself. The disappointment of the Lresistibles proved 
great, indeed, when the handsome soubrette of the May- 
fair scandal, looking, as they put it, like a duchess in 
disguise — an infelicitous locution — passed them all by 
as though they were not, and took another's arm, the 
barely-proffered arm of that Marquis-de-Rouge-et-Noir 
sort of customer over there — the gray-eyed, Roman-nosed 
beggar who was now making his way towards the extreme 
end of the boat — the swaggerer who, as an Adonis of 
Gaul, quite a dazzling Adonis, phrased it in a plaintive 
tone, had scanned them momentarily with I' air de se 
ficher du monde. 

At Dover, making his way from the landing-stage to 


the railway platform, the inspector met one or two men, 
in the attire of civilians, who stared very hard at him, 
but did not either speak or nod, and at whom he also 
stared hard for an instant, without speaking or nodding, 
either. They were squarely-built men, with beards and 
round felt hats, and they carried plain walking-sticks. 
They did not appear to have any business to attend to, 
and they never seemed to be looking at the people close 
to them. 

The inspector knew each of these civilians, however, 
and they knew the inspector likewise, notwithstanding 
their reciprocal obliviousness of social usage. He turned 
back to ask the hindermost of them a question as to 
Sergeant Bell. On the Dover platform, Mr. Byde became 
a decidedly conspicuous figure. He loitered in front of 
the carriage he had chosen, until the moment before the 
departure of the train. That "Marquis de Rouge et Noir," 
who ignored or forgot the disguised duchess, his com- 
panion, must assuredly have perceived the inspector, as 
he hurried into a compartment lying at no great distance 
from Mr. Byde's. 

There was no lack of fellow-passengers for Inspector 
Byde on his through journey to Victoria. He had pointed 
out in his last words to Sir John, on the previous even- 
ing, that the most convenient point for Tudor Street, W., 
would be Victoria, and, when delivered at this destina- 
tion, he loitered in a singularly aimless manner about 
the most brightly-illuminated portions of the terminus. 
Gne other traveller — not two; the female form had dis- 
appeared — -lingered about the premises at just the same 
time, though not in the most brilliantly-illuminated 


It was the 'witching hour for London clerks. Their 
office work over till the next day, they were pouring into 
the terminus in raultivious streams. Any unobtrusive 
watcher could escape attention. But why should the in- 
spector lounge in a railway terminus instead of proceed- 
ing to the Department at once, there to report himself? 
For the man who meant to dog his footsteps it was a 
stroke of luck, perhaps, that the inspector — arriving at 
his resolution, by the way, with an odd abruptness — told 
the cabman, whom he ultimately summoned, to drive not 
in the direction of Scotland Yard, but through by-streets 
to the main thoroughfare in which stood the Silver 
Gridiron, hostelry famous for its discomfort as for its ex- 
cellent larder. The cabman had unwittingly undergone 
a swift, keen scrutiny as he prepared to depart with the 
inspector in his vehicle. Not one of "ours" had pro- 
nounced the implacable watcher. A second vehicle took 
the same road as the inspector. 

The Golconda Club, as they are well aware at the 
Criminal Investigation Department, lies just out of Soho, 
on the north side of Oxford Street. To this club may 
belong ladies as well as gentlemen; and no proportionate 
membership of the two sexes has been fixed by any 
statute drawn up by a committee, nor by any edict of 
the proprietor. What the fees imposed in the Golconda 
Club may happen to amount to, nothing in the shape of 
public announcement would enlighten the inquirer. There 
are no tariffs displayed upon the walls; there are no 
printed papers to be obtained on application at the se- 
cretary's office; no manifolded circulars in violet ink, no 


stamped receipts, no ledgers, no account book. There 
is a secretary's office, with a bureau, writing materials, 
a waste-paper basket, railway guides, postal directories, 
and fine Ordnance maps. There is no secretary, however; 
nor has any member of the Golconda Club ever thrown 
into the waste-paper basket scraps of writing paper with 
characters inscribed thereon. Externally, the club presents 
the aspect of both the adjoining Queen Anne houses, 
respectable and repellent, in weather-beaten brick. 

One of the contiguous buildings is a private institu- 
tion for the treatment of renal disorders; another has its 
groundfloor windows filled with the fasciculi of the music 
publisher: its first floor rented by an Italian singing- 
master; and its higher stories occupied by medical 
students up from the country to attend the Middlesex 
Hospital, close at hand. Within these dingy Queen Anne 
structures lie spacious and solid apartments, their carved 
and moulded panellings and cornices reserving for the 
stranger an artistic surprise. 

The large room of the Golconda Club had its panels 
in white and gold. In the florid colours of the ceiling 
it was no difficult task to discern the story of a mytho- 
logical incontinence. 

When Inspector Byde, after a potracted sojourn at 
the Silver Gridiron, drove to the dark street in which 
the Golconda Club had flourished, to his knowledge, for 
three years, the members, male and female, had already be- 
gun to drop in. Some of the gentlemen were in evening 
dress, others were in a judicious costume for the after- 
noon, one or two wore shooting-jackets, check-shirts, 
and gaiters to their boots. A subdued tone pervaded 


their sustained, easy, and general intercourse. The mild 
air of implicit faith which sat extremely well upon a few 
of them, not so long ago mere striplings, would have 
marked these out for jam tarts or bread and marmalade, 
in any company infested by the young surburban rakes 
who, having been to Paris, Vienna, and Madrid, come 
back to their mothers and sisters, but more particularly 
to their sisters' schoolfellows, with the unapproachably 
appalling manner of the homme blast whose horrors of 
debauchery are all mysteriously implied, and all fictitious. 
Blasts young men, with capitalist papas attending busi- 
nesses "E.C." were welcome guests, and ready prey, to 
members of the Golconda. 

The male members of the club would not unfrequently 
be well born; but, base or noble of blood, most of them 
possessed and traded upon that "air of native distinction" 
which has been commonly supposed to exist specially 
for lovers in decayed circumstances, and for virtuous 
people (of attractive personal appearance) wronged. All 
these men were scoundrels. One or two of them had 
been in foreign and transatlantic prisons; for others, 
deserving the same experiences, the latter remained yet 
in store; the greater number would never meet with 
their deserts. 

Among the ladies, not one could be pointed to as 
honestly exhibiting a plain face, a deficient figure, or a 
shabby toilette. What they deserved — the lady members 
of the Golconda Club — had not assuredly been measured 
by themselves; what their deserts might be could not be 
measured by even the " sterner " sex, their victims: till 
the crack of doom it was the divine secret of the Re- 
cording Angel. 


Pending the hour for settlements, the green baize 
tables had been set in the great room. The Golconda 
was believed to figure in the books of the police as 
merely an illegal and licentious gambling-club, tolerated 
for reasons which have their scientific counterpart in 
pathology. None of the gamblers, therefore, concealed 
their money stakes when the inspector was heralded as 
a visitor, and when he entered. He had been in the 
habit of looking in at the Golconda for a hand at whist, 
arid he was known by sight to all the members. On the 
present occasion he declined to play, although urged 
with lavish blandishments by the large blonde, who had 
been Countess of Ulvermere. (She was divorced, upon 
the husband's petition, some eighteen months before.) He 
lounged from table to table, moved listlessly from group to 
group, and mingled in such conversations as did not 
cease at his approach. The company thinned, however, 
in a curious way, to-night. Inspector Byde had come 
there for someone, it seemed: for whom? The company 
thinned; with no unseemly haste, but still with haste. 
He had not come alone, it was remarked. 


The inspector presently found himself with no com- 
panions but a slim, fair gentleman, who limped, and two 
ladies who slowly paced up and down with their arms about 
each other's waists. In the slim gentleman, now talking 
deferentially to Inspector Byde, the Chetwodes of Rad- 
hampton would have recognised their cousin, Wybert Rae, 
expelled from his university just before he took to the 
turf as a "gentlemen-jock." His limp would remain with 
him for life, a souvenir of absolutely fearless cross- 
country riding. His banishment from the turf had been 
due to other causes. At the present time, his means of 


livelihood were undefinable — that is, in the nomenclature 
of polite definition. He could be met with, however, 
wherever Mabel Stanley, the taller of these two ladies, 
might be met with; and wherever Mabel Stanley might 
be met with, there also could be met this other lady, 
Alphonsine Moireau, the disowned daughter of a French 
optician established in Marylebone Lane. 

The noiseless folding doors behind the inspector 
opened gradually. Two men were standing on the 
threshold. One of them entered. The doors folded 
noiselessly upon the other. The man who entered, reeled 
and swayed in his walk. 

"Raphael!" exclaimed in a low tone Mabel Stanley 
(once Eva Grey, once Alma Vivian). 

"Gare!" muttered Mdlle. Alphonsine, rapidly to the 
new-comer, as he stopped and gazed before him stupidly; 
"Garc! — y a du monde! !" 

"Professor Valentine restored to us from the mansions 
of the opulent," drawled the slim, fair gentleman. "And 
the black art — how goes it, Valentine?" 

The new-comer took a devious course towards the 
last speaker. Face to face with Mr. Rae, he solemnly 
picked a sovereign from that gentleman's left shoulder; 
immediately, without uttering a word, changed it into a 
gold ring before his eyes; as seriously blew the ring 
back to the left shoulder, and there transmuted it into a 
silver locket. He then turned up his wristbands as if to 
prepare for more elaborate feats of prestidigitation. 

"Bertie!" called the voluptuous Mabel sharply. 
The ladies waited at a side-door while the ex-gentle- 


man steeplechase-rider waved a jaunty salute to Inspector 
Byde, and, with his rather interesting limp, rejoined 

The visage of the voluptuous Mabel wore an ex- 
pression of alarm. They pushed through the side-door; 
it closed after them noiselessly, like the larger doors 

"A-ha — a-ha, friend Raphael," said the inspector 
musingly, as he returned from a saunter among the 
tables — "A-ha — a-ha! — with talents like those you are a 
dangerous thief. Take my advice, now. Keep to the 
conjuring line, and get along honestly. Advertise Pro- 
fessor Valentine as free for penny readings, birthday- 
parties, and temperance f£tes." 

The inspector shot out both arms as he spoke, and 
appeared to be pulling himself together. 

Raphael swayed in the direction of the inspector, 
and bent a melting Oriental look upon him. 

"Theen my new trickth?" he asked gravely. 

From the inspector's right shoulder he apparently ex- 
tracted the same silver locket, which he at once changed 
into a Japanese fan. 

"Watch thith," he continued, agitating the open fan 
gently in the air. 

An artificial bird alighted on the fan from some one 
of the aerial regions known to all prestidigitateurs. 

The inspector was watching — and he was listening, 
too. He had held his hands down unclenched. Sud- 
denly his lips parted, and he moved his arms almost im- 
perceptibly upward from the elbow. 


"Theen my trick with the handkerchief?" demanded 
Raphael, just before him, producing one. 

"No," replied the inspector. . . . 

. . . The swaying form before him had not advanced. 
He could distinguish vaguely the white object which Pro- 
fessor Valentine still grasped, and which he had not 

The inspector staggered, and for a second or two the 
white object in front of him whirled round and round, 
and seemed to be whirling everywhere. 

Raphael had not advanced, however. He still stood 
there, stupidly gazing to the right and to the left, and 
balancing his body with the starts and jolts of intoxica- 

Would it be credited — through the inspector's unhing- 
ing mind there flashed at this juncture the regret that he 
had come back from the Continent without a new dish 
for the Camberwell cuisine! ... 

. . . The handkerchief had been dashed against the 
inspector's face from behind. One hand held it tightly 
across his mouth and nostrils; another gripped him at the 
back of the head. It was no doubt whilst in the very act 
of breathing that he had been seized. Had he not al- 
lowed for such a contingency as this? Of course he must 
have allowed for this contingency, as well as for others. 
His respiration stopped. He clutched at the arm in front 
of him, and once more staggered. The vice in which 
his head had suddenly been taken, relaxed with the 
movement. . . . 

"Now, boys!" shouted the inspector — in a deafening 
voice as it resounded in his own ears, but very faintly to 
the ears of others. He had drawn a breath, however; 

Passenger from Scotland Yard. 25 


and, as with both hands he fastened upon the arm in 
front of him, during the brief and silent struggle which 
ensued, he inhaled the air again, again, and again, eagerly 
and greedily, his face averted from the cloth or coarse 
ample handkerchief whose sickly fumes had swept into 
his lungs, thence to drive liquid lead into the contract- 
ing veins. 

"Now, boys!" called the inspector, this time more 

His assailant used his utmost efforts to free himself, 
but in vain. 

Lady and gentlemen members of the Golconda Club 
had crowded in at the noiseless doors, and were block- 
ing the entrances. They looked on at the struggle with- 
out comment, and without concern. 

The inspector's assailant dragged him furiously to- 
wards the principal exit. At a sudden commotion, 
audible from outside, Raphael hurried to the side-door. 
Vine, alias Grainger, dropped the handkerchief; growling 
almost like a wild beast, and his face perfectly livid, he 
grappled with the inspector with immense power. It 
was too late; the exertion availed him nothing now. 

Inspector George Byde was recovering, and he met 
his antagonist as he had met in times past many a mur- 
derous and hardy criminal. 

Sir John gasped out an appeal for rescue. None of 
the bystanders moved or spoke. In the Golconda Club 
there were few comrades, fewer friends, and no res- 

A detonation rang out as the group at the side-door 
parted. Vine, alias Grainger, tore himself partly free, 


and then fired again. But two men rushing from the side- 
door were upon him. For a moment, perhaps, he might 
elude these men, but escape from them would be impos- 

"Take him, boys!" urged the inspector, who had 
sunk to his knees. 

Vine, alias Grainger, levelled his revolver at the two 
men, and they hesitated. A bystander, whom they called 
on to secure him, shrugged his shoulders. Officers of 
the law possessed no allies among members of the Gol- 

"Take him," repeated Mr. Byde feebly, "it's mur- 

An oath, a reckless gesture, a third and a fourth re- 
port. Sir John had turned the weapon against himself, 
and he fell with a bullet through his head. 

"I'll go for trial, then," he pronounced laboriously, 
as one of the two men stooped, and lifted him into a 
sitting posture. 

The other of the pair aided the inspector to regain 
his feet, and stood supporting him. 

"I want you," murmured the inspector, as his gaze 
encountered the unsteady figure of Professor Valentine. 
"You are not drunk, you know." 

"Me drunk — me!" Raphael hiccoughed, with a dis- 
locating shock. He seemed to be positively collapsing 
under a seismic disturbance. "Who thayth I'm drunk? 
Me drunk!" He held himself erect by an ostensibly 
miraculous feat of equilibrium. "I'd like to thee the 

man who thaid I wath!" 



"Mind he doesn't escape," said the inspector faintly 
to his companion. "We shall want him." 

Blood was falling in large drops to the carpeted floor 
at the inspector's feet. His left arm hung loosely from 
the shoulder, and the palm and fingers of his left hand, 
now relaxed and open, glistened in a thickening crimson 
stream. He leant upon his companion for support, and 
his features contracted in a momentary spasm. 

"Serious?" demanded his companion in a low tone 
anxiously. "Hope not, sir?" 

"Two places," replied the inspector, composing his 
features with an effort; "left arm and shoulder. Nothing 
serious, though, I feel sure. Just support me to where 
that man is lying." 

They approached the prostrate body of Sir John. The 
latter had closed his eyes, and was moaning in his 
struggles to breathe freely or to speak. 

The gentlemen of the Golconda Club looked on, im- 
passive, silent, callous. Each for himself, and self-reliant; 
not one willing to aid his neighbour — not one capable of 
trusting to his neighbour's aid; all — the bandits, corsairs, 
wreckers of society. As the ladies and gentlemen of the 
Golconda — cheats and Delilahs, confederates and in- 
formers — stood in stony groups around the lofty and 
spacious apartment of the club, the tragic scene so 
rapidly enacted appeared unreal, a show, a piece of mere 
undisquieting make-believe — the rehearsal of a stage play 
in a vast and brilliant drawing-room — the actors, intense 
masters of their art — the spectators, dullards. 

It was blood, however, that tracked the inspector's 
uncertain progress, as he and his companion advanced 
slowly to the spot where lay the prostrate form: blood 


that rained in clinging, viscous drops through his numbed 
fingers, from his nerveless arm: blood that flowed into 
the shining, irregular, red patch underneath the dying 
man's head, and swelled the red patch there into a ver- 
milion pool. 

"If we could have hindered that ," murmured 

the inspector regretfully. "The case would have led up 
to sensational evidence. Ah, what I could have brought 
out! The public might have had a glimpse of what 
goes on beneath the surface." 

"He's done it too well," said Mr. Byde's companion. 
"But yourself — how do you feel yourself, inspector?" 

"Running down fast. But it's only a faint, I'm sure. 
Hit in the shoulder. Tell Marsh to prop that man's 
head up. I can't speak loudly enough." 

The other of the two strange men had knelt by the 
side of Sir John, and was loosening the latter's garments 
at the neck. In obedience to the direction, he at once 
gently placed the prone figure in a recumbent posture, 
which afforded the dying man almost instantaneous relief. 
His respiration became less laboured, and he unclosed 
his eyes. 

"Vine!" called the inspector, summoning up his 

The gray eyes turned mechanically in the direction 
of the sound. They encountered the inspector's face, 
and they travelled no farther. A look of recognition 
dimly lighted them up, and dawned through the lines of 
the pale, convulsed visage. It seemed as though the 
ebbing spirit had been arrested on its path — arrested 
by that peremptory summons, and, for an instant, re- 


"Vine!" repeated the inspector more loudly; "if I 
put a question to you — can you answer?" 

Marsh bent forward to catch the whisper from the 
bloodless lips. With the whisper issued from the blanched 
lips a thread of vivid crimson, which gradually broadened 
in its downward course. "Yes," came the answer, fol- 
lowed by words only audible to the man stooping for- 

"He says he's going for trial," said Marsh. 

"Are we to take Finch for the railway murder?" de- 
manded Mr. Byde. "Are we to take him — come?" 

"No!" was the distinct reply. 

"You are very ill, you know," pursued the inspector. 
"I am afraid you have hurt yourself seriously. Come! — 
who shot that man, and got away so cleverly?" 

Still fixed upon the inspector, the gray eyes had 
nevertheless a gaze in them that went beyond him, else- 
where, far away. Once more, it was the constable in 
plain clothes, Marsh, who interpreted the barely articulate 

"He says he'll take his trial upstairs." 

"Listen to me, Vine!" commanded the inspector, 
with a failing voice. "Are you guilty, or not guilty — you 
hear — guilty, or not guilty?" 

"Guilty," whispered Sir John. His eyes wandered 
from Inspector Byde to the man who was supporting him, 
and who had picked up the revolver; and as the light 
from above flashed along the bright metal chambers, the 
gray eyes rested for a moment upon the firearm itself, 
and then, with a vacant expression, drooped and closed. 


"Guilty," he sighed, whilst a frown appeared to gather 
about his brow — "and cleverly — but — I shot him — and 
— he is waking — must " 

The crimson stream sluggishly trickling from his 
mouth welled forth in a sudden volume, and from his 
forehead the gathering frown faded. As the head fell 
on one side, the muscles of the visage no longer at their 
painful tension, a slight stir from the surrounding groups 
proved that, among the silent members of the Golconda 
Club, there were some, at any rate, who had attentively 
followed the scene. Indeed, a few fans were fluttering 
vigorously before a few white faces; and the large blonde 
whose affability with Inspector Byde has been alluded to, 
belied her brazen smile and stare by an abrupt gesture 
of repugnance, and by a smothered phrase of pity. She 
had herself been the cause of bloodshed, as she would 
complacently recount to other ladies, and to gilded youth 
about the town. The sight of blood, however, endure 
she could not — she could not, really!" 

"Gone," pronounced the constable in plain clothes, 
Marsh, allowing the lifeless body to sink at full length 
to the ground — "gone, as he said, for trial!" 

"How is it you were twice late?" complained the in- 
spector in a feeble tone. "The telegram I told Toppin 
to send off must have reached the Yard early in the 

"Sergeant Bell thought that Toppin must have been 
under a misapprehension when he telegraphed." 

"Sergeant Bell thought? Sergeant Bell thought?" 
muttered the inspector, leaning heavily against his com- 
panion. "There are too many Sergeant Bells at Scot- 


land Yard. 'Sergeant Bell thought!' Take care of that 
revolver. I want it for the Remington affair." 

"How do you feel, sir?" asked the plain-clothes 
constable, Marsh. "Let me get some brandy for you, 

"Not here — not here! And don't leave me, either 
of you. They know that I have valuables in my posses- 
sion. Don't leave me!" Upon uttering which injunc- 
tion, Inspector Byde lost consciousness. 

Some of the gentlemen members of the Golconda 
began to stroll towards the police-officers. 

"Stand back, you , all of you!" exclaimed Con- 
stable Marsh savagely. 

Christmas Day had passed; -Mr. Finch had reaped 
his harvest from the popular revelries of the succeeding 
forty-eight hours, and the same, in riotous living, had 
partially expended: and Inspector George Byde found 
himself permitted by his medical adviser, by Mrs. Byde, 
and by the weather, to repair at easy stages to the of- 
fices of the Chief, opposite Whitehall. 

The inspector was much paler than we have seen 
him since the outset of his mission on the subject of the 
Wilmot (Park Lane) inquiry, "with confidential instruc- 
tions as to possible issues therein involved." He wore 
his left arm in a black silk scarf; and the Chief, after a 
keen glance at him, pushed an easy-chair forward with 
his foot, and invited Inspector Byde to sit down. 

The Chief stated in brief, metallic accents that he had 
had the report of the Departmental surgeon before him, 
and that he had been pleased to know that from the 


inspector's injuries there would be no complications to 
be feared. He had just gone through the report dictated 
by the inspector to an amanuensis, on the previous day. 
The suggestions relating to matters extraneous to the 
inquiry entrusted to him should be duly noted; prompt 
action would be taken upon them whenever apparent 
necessity should arise. 

When identifying the abstracted valuables recovered 
for him by the Department, Mr. Stanislas Wilmot had 
expressed very great astonishment that any officer should 
have been able to secure the missing property absolutely 
intact, and had requested that the officer who had con- 
ducted the case with such signal success might call upon 
him to receive some personal reward. He (the Chief) 
need not say that Inspector Byde would be fully aware 
of the Departmental regulation on this point. 

With regard to Mr. Stanislas Wilmot himself, facts 
which had been quite recently communicated to them, 
would render it advisable to pay some attention to the 
business dealings of the Wilmot firm in Hatton Garden. 
A supervision would be arranged for, and if active mea- 
sures should turn out to be necessary, Inspector Byde 
would be consulted. 

As to the original robbery from the strong-room of 
the Park Lane private residence, it was incredible that 
Sergeant Bell should have allowed the man Forsyth 
to elude him. Forsyth had been supposed to fill a place 
in Wilmot's employment as butler. That appeared to be 
only nominally the state of the case. Forsyth possessed 
some sort of hold upon this Mr. Stanislas Wilmot. 

"We found the locksmith to whom Forsyth took cer- 
tain keys, a few months ago, with an order for duplicates, ,, 


continued the Chief; "but Bell entirely broke down in 
the supervision he was told to exercise, and when we 
wanted the man Forsyth, he was well out of the way. 
We have reason for presuming that he made a dash for 
Holland. The Remington affair has been explained by 
telegram and correspondence to the Paris authorities. 
One or two of the French newspapers, just to hand, deal 
with the murder in a style that is worth your looking at. 
I have ordered the papers to be put by for you. A 
narrow escape you ran, it seems, at the hands of our 
worthy friend, Michel Hy. He is publishing a little 
work, by the way — a book of wild theorising, for the 
use of visionary Continental detectives; I have an advance 
copy from him somewhere about, and if you like to look 
at it while you are away from duty " 

The inspector, who knew his Chief to be a man of 
the very fewest words, inferred from the unaccustomed 
length of the observations vouchsafed to him that "the 
Yard" rated his expeditious return, with the whole of 
the missing valuables, a greater achievement than either 
his colleagues or his superiors would be willing to admit 

Wild theorising! That was the spirit in which they 
met originality — that was how they dismissed any con- 
scientious searching after improved methods ! They would 
be describing him — Inspector George Byde — as a wild 
theorist, next! 

Whilst awaiting his interview with the Chief, he had 
proved the theorem that if one side of a triangle be 
produced, the exterior angle shall be greater than either 
of the interior opposite angles; that any two angles of a 
triangle are together less than two right angles; and that 

the passenger from Scotland yard. 395 

the greater angle of every triangle is subtended by the 
greater side. He had been interrupted in a languid 
examination of the problem : To make a triangle of which 
the sides shall be equal to three given straight lines; but 
any two whatever of these must be greater than the third. 
If anyone went into his room downstairs, during his ab- 
sence, thought the inspector, and found his book upon 
the table — his book, and the scrap of paper covered with 
diagrams — they would laugh at him and his exercises, 
no doubt! And yet how those exercises had cleared his 
head and braced his mind up for this interview! 

"We shall have to reconsider the position of the 
Golconda," continued the Chief. "As you have seen 
from the memoranda furnished by Sergeant Bell, the 
woman who applied at the Knightsbridge post-office for 
letters addressed 'Adelaide,' to be left till called for, was 
the Jane Clark, of South Bank, St. John's Wood, who has 
undergone terms of imprisonment for 'long firm' swindles 
under the aliases of Daisy Dacre, Violet Vere, etc.; and 
there is not the slightest doubt that she has been allowed 
to go on using the Golconda, in spite of their pledge to 
us. We trace that woman to various resorts in company 
with the man Remington. Among other of her exploits, 
she proved as his principal creditor in the liquidation of 
his estate last year. Nothing connects her directly with 
this case, although the name and address noted upon the 
morsel of paper found near the body of the deceased 
had evidently been agreed upon between them, the hand- 
writing being, so far as we can pronounce, that of the 
deceased himself. She must have formed the link of 
communication with Forsyth, but we cannot prove that. 
Your hint to explain the intervention of the man Vine 


would appear to be well founded. Somebody about the 
premises, or having access to them, must have been 
watching Forsyth, and must have been cognisant of his 
relations with Remington. Who? That is more than 
we can say. Not, at any rate, the Brother Neel with 
respect to whom you have reported favourably. And 
that reminds me. We shall put this Maelstrom business 
under your charge. One of these so-called Good Templar 
leagues, professedly created for 'reclaiming' the English 
artizan of the manufacturing towns, but unquestionably a 
Socialist organization of the most determined character, 
is latterly in correspondence with both Paris and Vienna. 
Their programme and methods are expected to form 
new departures. You will be good enough to give your 
attention to this, inspector; we think you are just the 
man for the work." 

By that barely perceptible shake of the head, the in- 
spector betrayed a misgiving. He knew his bias. It was 
too bad to be thus constantly exposed to the temptation 
of endeavouring to atone by a public triumph for his one 
mistake. Ah — certainly it would be sweet to strike a 
blow at all these canting fellows; but, as he impressed 
so often upon his son, Master Edgar, "where the pre- 
judice is strong, the judgment will be weak." His own 
prejudice ran very strong, in the particular domain of 
the I.O.T.A. brethren, and their like. He could not 
stand them. Weren't they always posing for the mono- 
poly of the Christian virtues; wouldn't you think, to hear 
them prate, that all these dear-friend, brethren- fellows 
were heaven-sent teachers of a patented morality? Yes; 
and when he remembered what he possessed at home, 
tied up with red tape, endorsed, and put away in pigeon- 


holes — ha! — it made him smile to hear them prate, some 
of them, and to see them pose. There were a few of the 
hierarchs whose private lives had oddly strayed within 
the ken of Scotland Yard. If they owned the monopoly 
of the Christian virtues, why could they not let bygones 
be bygones — why did they cherish rancour and bear 
malice — why was that money-making enterprise, the organ 
of the I.O.T.A. in the press, endlessly to be girding at 
himself, George Byde, because of a single mistake? Well, 
they must go on as they might deem proper. Let them 
gird! In the future Brother Neel had better keep his 
hands clean. 

It was much more soothing to think of Mr. Sinclair 
and Miss Adela Knollys. Their course of true love had 
run smooth; and the course of true love ran too often in 
rough, dark, and tortuous ways; channels that the frailest 
or most foolish obstacle would sometimes part for ever; 
sources that would brusquely separate, diverge, flow on 
— the one unruffled, pure, and bright; the other clouded, 
acrid, and impetuous — flow on, diverging ever, to never, 
never reunite. They both flowed into the sea, at last, these 
water-courses, mused the inspector wisely; alas! too often 
they were different seas, wide as the poles asunder, but 
salt, each of them, with tears. How she reminded him, 
Miss Adela Knollys, of his own dear fair-haired little 
daughter, May! If she could have lived — ah! if their 
poor child only could have lived 

"And now, inspector," concluded the Chief, wheeling 
his chair round to his bureau, with an air which the 
inspector understood — "it is only due to you to add that 
the Department have full confidence in your abilities." 

"I have done my best, Sir Roland," answered the 


inspector, on his feet at once, and erect, "and if I have 
only been partially successful in the matter of the supple- 
mentary confidential instructions — another time " 

"What? — Oh — Why, we've nothing to complain of! 
Your direct instructions were to recover abstracted pro- 
perty, and that was all — a packet of loose diamonds — 
exceedingly difficult undertaking, given the circumstances. 
Well, you've done so, haven't you?" 

"Thank you, Sir Roland," answered the inspector, 
saluting. He crossed the room, closed the door behind 
him, and stood for a moment on the threshold, meditating. 

"Well, yes," he added, in a tone of corroboration — 
"Q. E. F." 






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